UNIVER5ITY OF PITTSBURGH
IJarlington -M-emorial L/itrary
EvanOelical jjulhupan Chiiui, i]( ihe. llnly InniLy.- Luin easier
mm. LUTHERM CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY,
DELIVERED ON THE OCCASION OP THE
Rev. C. F. SCHAEFFER, D.D. and Rev. Prof. F. A. MUHLENBERG, A.M,
ADDITIONAL HISTORICAL PARTICULARS,
FROM A. D, 1T61— 1861.
LANCASTER, Pa. :
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY JOHN BAER'S SONS.
When the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity at Lancaster, Pa. was
renovated and rededicated, A, D, 1853 — 1854, the pastor and many members of the con-
gregation, as they looked upon the two sandstone tablets in the front of the church,
bearing the date 17C1, the time of the Comer-stone laying of the venerable edifice, hoped
that they might be spared to unite in the Centennial Celebration of thatjevent, in the
year 1361. Some of those who expressed this wish, venerable fathers and mothers of
the congregation, "died without the sight ;" but those who remained, determined, as the
expected time drew near, to celebrate the interesting occasion, for the glory of God, and
the edification of the Church.
At a vestry meeting, on the 4th of March, 1861, the pastor suggested the propriety of
making arrangements for such a celebration, on the 18th of May, the anniversary of the
laying of the corner-stone ; and Messrs, Horace Rathvon, Chas. A. Heinitsh, and Geo,
D, Sprecher were appointed a Committee, to confer with the pastor, and make such ar-
rangements. On the 18th of March they reported the following:
"1. As Saturday, the 18th of May next, the day of the anniversary, will occur during
the sessions of the General Synod (which is to meet in Lancaster) it is proposed to invite
that body to be present.
2, In order to afford all the members of the congregation an opportunity to be present,
tliree discourses or addresses are proposed, viz : in the morning, a historical discourse
by Rev. Prof Chas. F. Schaeffer, D. D. of Gettysburg ; in the afternoon, an address
to the children of the Sunday Schools, and their parents and friends, by Rev. Chas. A.
Baer, A. M, of Norristown ; and in the evening a festival discourse, by Rev. Prof« F, A«
IMl'hlenberg, a. M, of Gettysburg,
3, Music, appropriate to the occasion, by the Choir, with such aid as can be had from
the other choirs of the city, to be under the superintendence of the leader, Mr, W. E-
Heinitsh, and the organist, Mr. A. Schmied.
4, The Church to be thoroughly cleansed, and appropriately decorated,"
This report was adopted, and the same committee charged with the execution of the
plan. The pastor was requested to correspond with the brethren named above, and
authorized to designate others, if they should decline the invitation of the vestry.
On the 28th of March he was happy to be able to report, that the three gentlemen first
designated, had kindly consented to take the parts assigned to them.
Soon aflerwards, however, the storm that had so long threatened our beloved country,
burst forth, and the bombardment of Fort Sumpter inaugurated the civil war which is
still upon us, and roused every loyal heart in the nation, not only to a full realization of
the dangers that threatened our very existence, but also to a solemn and unalterable de-
termination, to crush the monster rebellion, and to restore the Union and the Constitution.
The whole nation was in a ferment, and communication between the North and South
soon ceased. Under these circumstances, the pastors, emd a number of the members of the
Lutheran Churches of Lancaster, as well as other places, requested Dr. C, W, Schaeffer,
of Germantown, President of the General Synod of the Lutheran Church, indefinitely to
postpone the meeting of that body; and soon aflerweirds a notice of such postponement
was published by him in the church papers,
As the General Synod was, therefore, not to be present at the Centenary Jubilee, the
vestry determined to celebrate the event on the following day, Whitsunday, May 19th,
provided the gentlemen who had already promised their services, would consent to the
change. They at once signified their willingness, and the 19th of May was published
as the day of the celebration.
The pastor was also directed to prepare a programme of the order of exercises,
containing the hymns that were to be sung, and 2000 copies of the same were ordered to
be printed for distribution. The committee made all the necessary preparations ; ap-
pointed sub-committees to take charge of the decorations ; and also covered the vestibule
with new matting, and the floor of the choir with new carpet. Owing to the war
excitement some thought, that the celebration would fail, and that it would scarcely be
possible to awaken sufficient enthusiasm among the members to prepare the decorations,
and enter into the celebration with truly festive feelings. But at a meeting of ladies, on
the 9th of May, all manifested a warm desire to do all that was necessary, and, during
the week preceding the great day of the feast, the school-house was thronged by the old
and young, all joyously assisting in preparing the evergreens for the decorations. The
members of the choir, and the friends that assisted them, met frequently, and the children
of the Sunday school also met repeatedly, to sing the hymns that were to be used on the
afternoon of the Jubilee,
At last the long-expected day arrived ; and, although some threatening clouds appeared
in the morning, the sky soon became clear, and the day was all we could desire.
Long before the hour of service the church was crowded in every part. One who
was present, thus described the interior of the church, (in the "Lutheran" of June 7,
1861,) "For several days previous to the celebration, the ladies were engaged in decora-
ting the interior of the noble church edifice. Over the pulpit, which was chastely
adorned with ivy, was a beautifully wrought arch of evergreens, from which was sus-
pended the date, "1761," which struck the eye of the beholder for its neatness. The
windows and galleries were tastefully festooned with evergreens, m which were wrought
> the figure "100." The large organ was similarly decorated, whilst two beautiful Ameri-
CEin flags suspended over it, displayed the patriotism of the decorators." The font was
filled with flowers, and a beautiful pyramid of the same was erected upon the altar. The
whole affair exhibited the admirable taste of those who had charge of these decorations.
The services were opened, at 10 o'clock, A. M. by an anthem, admirably sung by the
choir ; and then the pastor conducted the altar service, according to the liturgy of the
Synod of Pennsylvania. The general Prayer was offered by Rev. D, Steck, pastor of
St. John's Lutheran Church, Lancaster. The first hymn was the following translation,
by Miss Winkworth, of J. J. Schuetz's Hymn "Sei Lob und Ehr deni hoechsten Gut,"
which was sung, in German, just one hundred years before, on the same spot, at the lay-
ing of the Corner-stone.
Tune — Monmouth.
All praise and thanks to God most High
The Father of all Love!
The God who doeth wondrously,
Tlie God who from above
My soul with richest solace fills,
The God who every sorrow stills ;
Give to our God the glory !
The host of heaven Thy praises tell.
All thrones bow down to Thee,
And all who in thy shadow dwell,
In earth, and air and sea.
Declare and laud their Maimer's might.
Whose wisdom orders all things right;
' Give to our God the glory !
The Lord is never far awa)',
Nor sundered from His flock ;
He is their refuge and their stay,
Their peace, their trust, tlieir rock,
And with a mother's watchful love
He guides them wheresoe'er they rove,
Give to our God the glory !
All ye who name Christ's holy Name,
Give to our God the glory !
Ye who the Father's power proclaim.
Give to our God the glory !
All idols under foot be trod,
The Lord is God ! the Lord is God !
Give to our God the glory !
After the hymn Rev, Prof. C. F, Schakffer, D. D. preached the sermon, published in
this volumn, to a deeply interested audience. After the sermon, the congregation uni-
ted in singing the following translation of Luther's grand hymn, "Ein' veste Burg ist
unser Gott," to the tune of the original.
[ Words and Tune hy Lutheb«]
A safe stronghold our God is still,
A trusty shield and weapon,
He'll help us clear from all the ill.
That hath us now o'ertaken.
The old enemy
Now wars earnestly ;
Great craft and might
Do arm him for the fight.
On earth is not his fellow.
With our might we nothing can.
We soon would sink appalled ;
But for us fights the proper Man,
Whom God himself hath called.
And who may this be ?
Christ Jesus, 'tis He,
The Lord Sabaoth,.
Our God and Saviour both ;
None from the field can drive Him !
And were the world all devils o'er
And watching to devour us.
We lay it not to heart so sore.
They cannot overpow'r us.
The Prince of all 111
Look grim as he will.
Can harm not a whit.
His dreadful doom is writ :
One word of God can fell him.
His holy word they shall let stand,
No thanks to their forbearing !
God in this battle is at hand.
For all his soldiers caring.
If they take our life.
Goods, fame, child and wife;
We'll e'en let them go —
This will not save the foe;
The kingdom must be ours !
All admitted that they had not heard such grand choral singing within the walls of
old Trinity, for many years.
The Rev, W. Beates, Senior of the Ministerium of Pennsylvania, was also present.
In the aflernoon the body of the church was reserved for the children of the Sunday-
Schools, From five to six hundred scholars, led by their teachers, marched in procession
to the church, and soon afterwards all the available space on the main floor and the galle-
ries was occupied by the members of the congregation.
The exercises were conducted according to the form published in the Catechism
issued by the Synod of Pa. The children and congregation united in singing "All hail
the power of Jesus' name," to the tune "Coronation." After repeating the Ten Com-
mandments and Apostle's Creed, Rev. Dr. C. F, Schaeffer offered prayer, and then was
sung the following, written for the occasion, to the tune "Otto."
Thou didst lay the earth's foundation
Thou, O God, its corner-stone ;
And didst build man's habitation
At the footstool of Thy throne.
Beautiful in its adorning
Rich in an exhaustless store ;
Well might sing the stars of morning,
And the sons of God adore !
So in Sion — wondrous story !
Thou a corner-stone didst lay,
Which dotli manifest thy glory.
And shall never pass away ;
Precious and elect — upholding
All the building fitly framed,
Temple of the Lord — enfolding
All that after Christ are named.
On this only sure foundation,
Built our fathers — in their day;
And, rejoicing in salvation
Here a corner-stone did lay.
Raised this temple, with Thy blessing.
And enjoyed Thy Means of Grace,
Prayers of faith and love addressing
To Thy reconciled face.
They are gone — but what they founded
Firm, enduring — still we see ;
They could never be confounded.
For they built their hopes on Thee.
May we — who their work inherit
Build like them, in faith alone,
Trusting — not in human merit,
But in Christ, the Corner-stone!
After this fame the sermon, by Rev, Chas. A. Baer, on Isa, XI : 6,
The sermon was followed by prayer, and the following hymn, also written for the oc-
casion, and sung to the tune "America."
Jesus whose holy name.
Angels and men proclaim
Of Thee we sing ;
Thou didst for sin atone.
Thou art the corner-stone.
Unto Thy name alone,
Praises we bring.
Thanks for this holy place.
Where all the means of grace,
Thou dost bestow ;
Thanks tliat from year to year
Parents and cliildren here.
Feeling Thy presence near
Learned Thee to know.
Here in our youthful days
Lead us in wisdom's ways.
Grant us thy grace;
Here on Thy Holy Day
Help us to hear and pray,
Until we pass away
To see Thy face.
Here may thy childrens' ears
Through all succeeding years —
Hear of Thy love ;
Till earth shall be no more,
And on the blissful shore,
All shall the Lamb adore
To God— The Father, Son
And Spirit — Three in One
All praise be given ;
Crown him in every song;
To ^im your hearts belong ;
Let all his praise prolong —
On earth — in heaven.
In the evening the church was again crowded with an attentive audience, Revds.
B. W, ScHMAUK, of the German Lutheran Zion's Church, Chas, A. Baer, and the pastor,
officiated at the altar. The hymns sung during the evening were Nos, 99. 565, and 623,
of the New- York Synod's collection. Rev« Prof, F, A, Muhlenberg, preached the ser-
mon, published in this volume.
All retired to their homes, delighted with the services of this memorable day*
On the 21st of May, 1861, the Committee on the Centennial Celebration presented the
following report to the vestry :
"The Committee charged with carrying out the suggestions in the report made to the
vestry some time ago, relative to the Centermial Celebration of the Laying of the Corner-
stone of this church, report } that they have attended to that duty, had the church cleans-
ed, and with the assistance of Mrs. W. G. Baker, the Misses Margie Musser, Christie
Gruel, Anna Ferry, Kate Mathiot, Mrs. Sophia Smith, Miss Melinda Peiper, and Messrs,
W« G. Baker, Dr, John F« Huber, John B. Kevinski, W, G, Sehner, Geo, Mcllhenny,
and John F, Sehner, as a Sub-Committee, decorated, as they deemed, appropriately.
The gentlemen who were selected to deliver the discourses on that occasion, viz : Dr.
C. F, ScHAEFFER, and Prof F, A. Muhlenberg, of Gettysburg, and Rev. C. A, Baer, of
Norristown, were present, and delivered their addresses, according to arrangement.
Our Choir was ably assisted by several members from the Choirs of sister churches
and also by Miss Jones, from Philadelphia.
The Committee cannot suffer the occasion to pass, without congratulating the vestry,
on the happy day spent, particularly at this time, when the members of the congregation,
in common with the whole community, are filled with anxiety, in reference to the trou-
bles in our country. It was replete with enjoyment, to the older, as well as the younger
portion of the congregation.
In conclusion, your Committee recommend, that the thanks of the congregation be
tendered, through the Secretary, to the officiating clergymen. Miss Jones, the assisting
members of other choirs, and our choir; to the Union and American Fire Companies,
for the loan of their beautiful United States flags, and to all who kindly volunteered their
services on the occasion," HORACE RATHVON,
CHAS A. HEINITSH,
GEO. D. SPRECHER.
The same Committee was re-appointed, to solicit copies of their discourses, for publi-
cation, from the officiating clergymen. It was also resolved, that the Messrs, Baer be
authorized to publish three hundred copies of the discourses, together with an introduc .
tion describing the Centenary Jubilee, and additional historical particulars of the last
Century, the whole to be issued in a neat and durable book. It was also resolved "that
Messrs, J. C. Hager, W, G. Baker, and Dr. J, F, Huber, be a committee to procure a
lithographic or photographic view of the exterior of the church, as it now is, to be in-
sorted as a frontispiece, in the book just ordered to be published,"
The Rev. brethren, who preached at the celebration, kindly yielded to the request of the
vestry, to furnish their discourses for publication, but, subsequently the Rev, Chas. A.
Baer requested to be excused, inasmuch as the lapse of time and numerous engage-
ments rendered it impossible for him to furnish a copy of the discourse, as part of it had
been delivered without notes. The vestry regret that they are unable to furnish this
discourse, in this memorial volume ; but are happy to present to the congregation, the
morning and evening discourses.
Through a slight misunderstanding the lithograph, forming the frontespiece of this
volume, was made larger than was intended and desired, and in this way the form and
size of the present volume were necessarily changed. The pastor, charged with the pre-
paration of additional historical particulars, originally contemplated little more than a
chronological table, like that prepared by Dr, C. R. Demme, and published, as an appen-
dix, in the account of the Centenary Jubilee of St, Michael's church, Philadelphia. But,
inasmuch as the form and size of the pages, were changed, and one discourse less than
we expected, was furnished, and the desire was expressed, not only that the volume
should be somewhat larger, but also that the period between 1761 und 1861 should be
mare fully set forth, the writer's "additional historical particulars" were greatly extended,
and their preparation unavoidably delayed the publication of this volume much longer
than he expected or desired. In the preparation of his part of this "Memorial," he has
freely used Prof M. L, Stoever's "Reminiscences of Lutheran Ministers," published in
the Evangelical Review, the Halle Reports, the records belonging to Trinity Church, the
private Journal of Dr, H, E. Muhlenberg, kindly furnished by Prof F. A. Muhlenberg,
and various other sources. He has taken up the history, — where Prof C. F, Schaeffer
paused, and has carried it down to the close of 1861, which has, unexpectedly, also be-
come the last of his pastorate at Lancaster,
It is not necessary for him to speak of the two discourses presented in this volume } they
will speak for themselves. The history of an Evan. Lutheran Church, during a period
of 130 years, is thus placed in the hands of our members, with the fervent prayer, that
it may deepen and strengthen their attachment to the church of their fathers, its preci-
ous doctrines, and scriptural usages; and that they and their children's children may
walk in the old paths, and ever "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory, both now and for ever. Amen."
Rev. Prof. CHARLES F. SCHAEFFER, D. D.
"J. glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our
sanctuary." — Jerem. 17 : 12.
The wise and benevolent manner in which the Creator has adapted
the natural Avorld to the physical and moral nature of man, has,
in every age, afforded instruction and comfort to the devout be-
liever. The peculiar organization of inanimate nature, and the
various forces with which it is endowed, precisely fit it to supply
the immediate wants of man. The light of heaven in which he
walks or labors, benignly employs, but does not overAvhelm, his
powers of vision ; the sounds in nature, from the rustling of the
leaf or the singing of the bird, to the loud echo of the water-fall
or the still louder rolling of the thunder, may amuse or soothe
or impress us, but cannot harm the delicate structure of the ear. —
While nature, however, makes large concessions to human wants or
Aveaknesses, it invites man to adapt himself, in his turn, to the unal-
terable laws by which the Creator has been pleased to control its
operations. "While the earth remaineth," said the Lord, as the
sweet savour of Noah's sacrifice ascended to heaven, "seedtime and
harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and
night shall not cease." (Gen. 8 : 22.)
To these regularly recurring seasons, our habits, our modes of
thought and feeling, and our whole course of action have instinct-
ively conformed themselves. By very gentle but, at the same time,
irresistible processes, nature is continually educating our bodies and
our souls. She insists that the labors of the day should terminate at
the approach of night ; she vigorously sustains our love of action in
the spring, demands our labor in the summer, and rewards the in-
dustrious with her autumnal gifts; but then she pauses, and in-
2 Centenary Jubilee.
exorablj arrests the steps of man even with icy fetters. She ad-
monishes him to reflect on tlie rapid flight of time, and to medi-
tate on the solemn truth that another year has been taken from
his short life, and that the eternal Avorld — his future home — is not
If God has been pleased, by means of striking changes in na-
ture, to give peculiar significance to that period of time which we
call a year^ and has trained us to count by years, he has, moreover,
enforced that lesson by the voice of revelation. When he estab-
lished a covenant with the people of Israel, which was designed to
herald the advent of the Saviour of the world, one of its distin-
guishing features, which re-appears in the sacrifices, in the reli-
gious assemblies and in many a special ordinance, consists in the
appointment of religious anniversaries. — At a later period, natural
and religious influ?nces led the Church also to express her con-
sciousness of such a law of our position on earth, by the appointment
of the festival days on which we gratefully commemorate the lead-
ing facts in the history of our divine Redeemer. This tendency
of our nature, repressed and discouraged at times by one-sided
fears of abuse, can never be entirely subdued ; there are indica-
tions, which acquire increasing distinctness, that at not a remote
period, Washington's Birth-day, and the Fourth of July will not
constitute the only annual holidays of the whole nation, but be
associated with others already sanctioned by the Church.
Amonor the institutions of Moses we find another reference to
anniversaries, which not only embodies all the principles already
mentioned, but is, besides, of so deep an import, peculiarly its own,
that neither the jurist nor the theologian has yet developed its whole
meaning — we refer to the semi-centennial season called tlie year of
Jubilee, (Lev. 25 : 10). Unquestionably the law which commanded
the Jews to hallow the fiftieth year, possessed a civil and political
significance, as it widely influenced the tenure of property and the
'personal condition of numbers of individuals. But its religious
character is also striking. The rare occurrence of the season allowed
a generation of men to be born and to pass away, without sharing
in its direct blessings ; nevertheless, they knew that it would surely
arrive and gladden the hearts of their children — for it was the
year of grace, the year of liberty to the oppressed debtor, to him
who sighed in bondage, to every burdened soul. — Did it not also
proclaim to the devout and intelligent Jew, the grave and yet
cheering truth that so, too, " the acceptable year of the Lord, "
Cfntenary Jubilee. 3
(Isai. 61 : 21), the day in which "the Lord should suddenly come
to his temple," (Mai. 31 : 1.) might linger long, and yet would sure-
ly come, and bring to a longing people all the grace and glory of
the promised Messiah ? What solemn reflections such a semi-cen-
tennial season awakened in the heart ! How afFectingly it taught
the believer of old to survey the past with humility and gratitude,
and to glance at the future with trusting faith and holy love !
When such seasons occur, after these long intervals, they produce
deep solemnity of feeling ; while they glorify that God, who, un-
affected by the lapse of years, lives forever, they teach an in-
structive lesson respecting man's brief life on earth and rapid de-
cay. Now, the present season and the very spot on which Ave
are standing, unite in addressing such a solemn appeal to us. —
Twice has the period of the Jewish Jubilee passed by, since, pre-
cisely one hundred years ago, a devout assembly occupied this
spot. The Scriptures were read and applied, hymns of praise
were sung, fervent prayers were offered — an event of deep interest
occurred — the Corner-stone of this building was laid ! But of that
vast assembly of faithful pastors, zealous church-officers and joyful
church-members, not one is here to-day ! While that corner-stone
has since reposed undisturbed in its bed, they have all disappeared
— we, another generation, meet here to-day, to pay a willing tribute
of honor to their memory, and to acknowledge with grateful hearts,
the abundant goodness of the eternal God.
It is in strict accordance with the most elevated principles of our
nature, and an expression, in the divine presence, of devout feeling,
when a centennial celebration like the present is arranged. It
affords us a new opportunity for strengthening our faith by the
actual observation of the fidelity with which the Head of the
Church fulfils his gracious promises ; and, further, the clear view
which it also presents of our own insufficiency and many infirmities,
constrains us to say devoutly: "Not unto us, Lord, not unto us^
but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's
sake." (Ps. 115: 1.)
In such a spirit the prophet uttered the words which we have al-
ready repeated : A glorious, ^r." He renounces all dependence
on human wisdom, holiness or strength ; he declares that God alone
is his hope, and that the worship of God in his sanctuary, is the only
comfort of his soul. The city of Jerusalem may fall, the temple
pass away — but He that dwelt in the sanctuary would ever abide,
as the constant friend and almighty protector of the faithful wor-
4 Centenary Jubilee.
shipper. And tlie whole history of this congregation, founded
as it was on the imperishable truth of God, attests that this sanc-
tuary also, in a peculiar sense, has been "a glorious high throne
from the beginning." To-day we declare in the presence of God,
that we .behold with our eyes the evidence of the precious truth that
God is a faithful God, dwelling in the midst of his people. From
very feeble beginnings this church arose — its infancy was cradled in
storms — its faith was sometimes sorely tried ; but in poverty, in
loneliness, in sorrow and temptation, its early members remained
steadfast in their faith. To this place of their sanctuary, where
God from his throne of grace and glory, communicated light, hope
and peace to their souls, they continued to cling with unconquer-
able tenacity. A current of holy faith and love seems to have unin-
terruptedly flowed through this place ; and if any one of that multi-
tude which was assembled here one hundred years ago, were now
called up from his grave, he would first gaze at this temple, still
standing in its beauty, but with expanded proportions and accumu-
lating tokens of prosperity — at this worshipping assembly — at all
the evidences of the peace, the faith and the love of the present
flock and pastor, and, in wonder and holy gratitude, he would ex-
claim : "What hath God wrought!" (Numb. 23: 23.)
It has been deemed desirable, and is fitting, that a brief review
of the history of this congregation should be presented on this
occasion ; it is this task which we shall now, as far as our limited
time may allow, attempt to perform. It had been our original pur-
pose to furnish a sketch of the whole 130 years — the period of the
existence of this congregation. But the events of those years are
so numerous and so important, that it is impossible to do justice to
the subject or even give a mere chronological history in the space
of an hour. We propose, therefore, to divide the whole into two
parts. We shall attempt to trace the history of the congregation
from its origin only to the era of the consecration of this church,
and to show how it came that the Corner-stone was laid a century
ago. If the Consecration of the church should lead to a centennial
celebration five years hence. May 4, 1866, a suitable occasion will
occur for any other speaker to resume the subject where we re-
luctantly pause, and to present the history of the century which
succeeded the event commemorated to-day. Even if we confine
ourselves to the period intervening between the origin of the con-
gregation and the erection of this church, we must still beg for in-
dulgence, in case our steady gaze at the flowing of the years should
Centenary Jubilee. 5
lead us to forget the passage of the moments allowed to us on this
Towards the close of the 17th century, or after the year 1680,
the British colonies offered many political and other advantages to
the adventurous who were disposed to visit this continent. The
invitations of William Penn were accepted by many hundreds of
German families, who found new homes in Pennsylvania before and
after the year 1700. f Their spiritual wants were imperfectly sup-
plied, and our first accounts of their religious condition, meagre as
they are, describe the latter as deplorable. The efforts of a few
zealous Lutherans who resided in Philadelphia, to procure a pastor,
Avere only partially successful. The Rev. John Christian Schultze,
who is to be carefully distinguished from Frederick and from
Christopher E. Schultze of a later period, claimed to be a German
student who had been ordained before he left his native country. |
He appears to have been the first religious teacher of the Lutherans
in Lancaster. The Register of Baptisms begins with the year 1730,
and we shall probably not commit an error, if we assign the first
entries to his hand. But he returned to Europe as the agent of the
Lutherans in the eastern part of the State, and was commissioned
*The writer is indebted for the facts presented in this discourse principally to three
sources : — First, copious extracts from the earliest Church Records of the congrega-
tion, with wiiich he was most courteously supplied by the present pastor, Rev. G. F.
Krdtel, who expended much time and labor in making them ; secondly, the well-known
Hulle Reports (Hallisi he Nachrichten), the whole of which the writer searched for
materials; thirdly, several of the biographical sketches of deceased Lutheran clergy.
men, which Prof. Stoever has in regular succession published in the "Evang Review,"
and which have so highly gratified the readers of that periodical. — The Lancaster con-
gregation and its pastors are also occasionally mentioned in Dr. Hazelius's History
of the Church, and in Dr. C. W. Schaeffer's ^"Early History of the Lutheran Church
in America " — No names, dates or facts have been admitted without satisfactory evi-
dence from such sources of their accuracy. The materials selected by the writer have
already overflowed the proper limits, and large masses of interesting relevant matter
were necessarily omitted,
t The first arrivals of Lutherans from Germany, Sweden and Holland, in Georgia,
New-York, &c., were much earlier. The Rev. Anthony W. Boeh.me, the German Lutheran
chaplain of the court of St. James during the reign of Queen Anne, furnished some of
the colonists with German books, consisting of Sermons, Arndt's "True Christianity,"
Francke's devotional works, hymn buoks, &,c. Halle Rf^p. pp. 3, 4, 665, 793. Mr.
BoEHME had previously held an ofl3ce in the Orphan House at Halle, from which he
was transferred to London, vvheie Prince George of Denmark assigned to him his
honorable post at the court. His influence witli Queen Anne induced her to exhibit in
1709 her royal munificence, like other distinguished persons, to Francke's Orphan
House. See Franken's Stift^ L 303. II, 8. III. 31G.
I Halle Rep. 7, 669.
6 Centenary Jubilee.
to obtain pecuniary aid and to invite clergymen to visit America.
He never resumed his labors in this country.
Large accessions were made at this period, between 1T20 and
1740, to the German Lutheran population of Philadelphia and its
vicinity ; * the rich soil and natural advantages of this region at-
tracted many of them. Very few clergymen, however, at that early
period, when the need of missionary labors in America had not been
yet distinctly presented to the German mind and heart, were found
among them. Those who did come forward, and who were faithful
men, must have been directed by an impulse proceeding from their
own hearts alone. One of these was the Rev. John Caspar Stoever.
He had, like the Rev. Messrs. Hinckel and Falckner, crossed the
ocean about the year 1725, in the capacity of a chaplain of a com-
pany of emigrants f who earnestly desired that their own holy faith
should descend to their children. We find him in Lancaster in
1733, engaged in the work of preaching for a congregation which
was organized and enjoyed regular services. On the 18th Sunday
after Trinity in that year-, he administered the Lord's Supper to as
many as 149 communicants, and he records the names of other com-
municants on other occasions also. During the next two years, the
public worship was maintained with comparative frequency, as the
records of the Sunday collections show. Mr. Stoever's services,
which had probably been those of a missionary, were then tempo-
rarily interrupted. On Nov. 7, 1736, however, he received a call,
signed by the church-members in Lancaster, and thus appears to
have been the first regular pastor. He and several members, in-
cluding John Martin Weibrecht, furnished the congregation with a
full set of communion furniture at their own expense. The spirit
of the pastor and people is attested by the fact that they now
erected their first church, which was solemnly consecrated by the
pastor, Mr. Stoever, Oct. 28, 1738, on which occasion he again ad-
ministered the Lord's Supper. The altar, which several liberal
members had supplied, was of stone, surrounded by a walnut rail-
inf'. The steeple of the church was furnished with bells. The or-
gan, which was completed before 1744, was constructed by a
skilful artist named George Kraft. That edifice stood on the
• For instnnr-o, a few years ):itfr, in tho fall of 1749, twenty-five vessels broiifrlit 7011)
GiM-inaiis to Piiiliidclpliia, and in the following autumn not less than 1-J,00U arrived. —
♦Early History, &,e." pp. 9G, 131.
til. N.p. 6G7.
Centenary Jubilee. 7
spot now partly occupied by the grave-yard, between this building
and the present parsonage.
The men of that generation, which, in this respect, seems to have
become nearly extinct, preferred long sermons ; Mr M. Barth fur-
nished the pulpit of the new church with an hour-glass, or, to speak
more strictly, a sand-clock, which measured one hour and thirty
minutes. Mr. Stoever's successors appear, unlike so ijiany of our
own number, to have delivered sermons which were entirely too
short, that is, not capable of being measured by the hour ; it became
necessary for Jacob Lochmann, five years after the consecration of
the church, in 1743, to attach to the pulpit an iron rod which sus-
tained the sand-clock in full view of the preacher and the hearers,
thus securing to the latter sermons of a reasonable length in their
opinion — one hour and a half.
Mr. Stoever continued to be the pastor during 1739, and for some
months afterwards ; the services were regularly continued. At this
period he proceeded to a distant German settlement in Virginia,
where he labored for many years as a faithful and successful minis-
ter of the gospel. *
After his departure the vacant congregation was exposed to se-
vere trials. Several individuals reached Pennsylvania who claimed
to be Lutheran clergymen, but who were in reality mere adventu-
rers, or ministers who had been deposed in their own country. Of
these the Church-Books complain in indignant terms. A German
minister, named Valentine Kraft, f from the Palatinate, created con-
siderable confusion in Philadelphia before Dr. Muhlenberg's arri-
val, as well as in Germantown and in other places. When his
claims to consideration and confidence were ascertained to be un-
founded, he proceeded to the interior of the State, and in 1743, he
* The great distance of his field of labor in the county of Spotsylvania, and a visit to
Europe for the purpose of obtaining aid for the feeble church in Virginia, may have
been the causes of his absence for a number of years from the meetings of the Synod
which had been organized in 1748. At a later period he returned toPennsylvunia, and
in 1763, presented himself to the assembled Swedish and German brethren composing
the Synod. The fidelity of his lab.;rs during the long interval was joyfully recognized
by them ; the President and all the clerical and lay-members of the Synod cordially ex-
tended to iiim the right hand of fellowship, and he was unanimously received as a regu-
lar member of their body, (H. Rep. 1 I27j. Three years afterwards, he attended the Synod
at the time of the consecration of the Lancaster church; in the narrative of that event,
Dr. Muhlenberg introduces iiim as the pastor of tlie Lebanon congregation. He is
now represented in Pennsylvania College, Geltysbnrg, by his great-grandson, Professor
Stiever, who is mentioned in a former note.
t H. Rep. 106, 170—174, 670, 12VJ.
8 Centenary Jubilee.
made an effort to secure a position in Lancaster. His official con-
nection with this congregation, even if only of a temporary charac-
ter, is attested by occasional entries made by him in the Church-
Books. He still preached here in 1T48, but his adherents were few
and remiss, and after that date he disappears from history. A
Swedish minister, Rev. John Dylander, occasionally served the con-
gregation in 1743 and 1744, and was acceptable.
It was at this era that the Rev. Henry Melchior Muhlenberg,
the first of that name, was sent to this country by the Head of the
Church.* Although he never felt at liberty to assume the pastoral
charge of this congregation, as his great work employed him else-
where, his deep personal interest in the Lancaster flock, and the
vast services which he rendered to it, justify a brief allusion to him.
His history, indeed, is so completely identified with many of the old
congregations of our church in this country, that on any occasion
like the present, he would necessarily occupy a prominent position.
Most benignly has that interest which attaches to his name, opera-
ted on the heart of the Church, since the Halle Reports^ which
contain full and authentic records of his labors, have been made
generally accessible. His name always had been revered as that
of a faithful laborer in the work of the Lord, and of the founder
of a family which ever afterwards rendered distinguished servi-
ces to the Church, f But some of the noblest features of his
character, among which wa3 his deep, earnest, abiding devotion to
tliose doctrines and those usages which are distinctively Lutheran,
were suffered for a season to recede partially from the public view.
It is now more generally known that Providence visibly directed
liis steps hither for great and holy purposes, that the highest Lu-
theran authorities in Europe officially appointed him, that he was a
chosen instrument of Luther's God, and that to the day of his death
lie regarded himself not as the founder of anew church-organization,
1)ut as a servant of Christ, commissioned to extend the borders of
the Lutheran Church of the Reformation, and to proclaim its life-
giving doctrines in a new territory. He encountered vast difficul-
ties occasioned by the poverty of the people, the enmity of false
brethren and the operations of numerous sects. % Tlicse contests
seemed to develope the singularly strong character of this faithful
« See "Memoirs, &,c. of H, M. Muiilenbkhg, D. D." by Prof. Stoever, printed for
the I.iitli. Hoard of Piibl., Phil. 185G.
t Rev, Prof. F. A. Muiii.evbeiig of Pennsylvania College, is his great-grandson
XEarly History, Sfc. p. 98. Halle Rep. p. 14, 17, 224, 348, 1199.
Centenary Jubilee. 9
man. When he consecrated the new church in Philarlejphia in Au-
gust 1748, he and the Church Council publicly pledged themselves
before God, as he himself relates,* that while God spared them and
their church, no other doctrines should be preached in it save those
of "the unaltered Augsburg Confession and all the other Symboli-
cal Books."t This clause he inserted in many church constitutions
which he afterwards wrote, and which are extant. And when, on
the afternoon of the same day, he and other German and Swedish
pastors ordained Mr. Kurtz, the first of that name, this excellent
man was previously required to give a similar pledge that he would
faithfully adhere to the pure doctrines of these confessional writings
of the Ev. Lutheran church. | In the days of these master-work-
men, who were confessedly not less intelligent and conscientious than
the men of any succeeding generation, the modern conveniences of
a qualified or conditional acceptance of the Augsburg Confession,
with a virtual rejection of the other Symbolical Books, and of the
declaration that the doctrines of this Confession were "substantially
correct," had not occurred, and could not easily occur, to a sound
There are men of a certain class, like Luther, Gustavus Adol-
phus or Washington, whose characters appear in such massive pro-
portions, whose integrity, consistency and true nobility assume a
position so august and commanding, that the spectator who surveys
them at a distance, becomes conscious of a peculiar feeling of security
and of positive enjoyment. The beautiful harmony in the features
of such a character softens the inflexibility and even the severity,
* H. Rep. 285.
t The phrase "unaltered Augsb. Conf." which frequently occurs in historical and
theological writings, does not refer to any modera alterations or mutilations of that
Creed made by unauthorized persons in this country. This Confession had been offi-
cially recognized by the Church in 1530 ; ten years afterwards a change was made in the
tenth article by some persons without the sanction of the Church, and this phrase was
then introduced for the purpose of disowning that change and any other. The Lutheran
Church recognizes no other text of it except the original and complete text of 1530, con-
sisting of 28 articles, and appended to the German and English editions of Luther's
Small Catechism, published by the Synod of Pennsylvania in 1855. — The "Symbolical
Books" which Dr. Muhlenberg repeatedly mentions as constituting in his day, and, of
course, in our own, the Creed of the Ev. Lutheran Church ot Europe ami .America, are,
in addition to the Augsburg Confession, the following: — The Apology (Vindication) of
the Augsb. Conf. ; the Smalcald Articles ; Luther's Small and Large Catechisms; and
the Formula of Concord. The second English edition of the whole was published in
1854 in Newmarket, Va. by Messrs S, D. Henkel tfe Bros, under tbe usual title of "Book
t H. Rep. p. 77.
10 Centenary Jubilee.
which are inseparable from a lofty, well-balanced mind. And when
that character is truly sanctified in its whole inner life, and invested
with the drapery which divine grace alone can throw around it —
when every bold feature is relieved by that serenely cheerful air of
spiritual health which true religion imparts, we gaze in mute admi-
ration on that wonderful creation of divine power and love ; and,
as we gaze, we are cheered, we are strengthened, and we gratefully
adore the Giver of all good. Thus, too, there are times when we
are discouraged by the difficulties of our own age, when we dread
the sacrifice of our church doctrines and usages, or shrink from the
adoption of foreign opinions and measures, or mourn over the ab-
sence of union and harmony in the Church, and over the manifesta-
tion of petty strifes, of paltry evasions and a vapid theology — then
we begin to tremble lest we ourselves or others of our day may be
guilty of a neglect to seek after the Spirit of Christ. It is at such
times a relief to turn to the contemplation of that apostolic man,
Henry Melchior Muhlenberg. We bless God that such a Lutheran
pastor, so sound in the faith and so devoted to his venerable Church,
so true to Christ and so holy in heart and life, so meek and yet so
heroic, so gentle and yet so firm, so free from narrow prejudices
and yet so incorruptibly faithful to the cause of divine truth, was
chosen by the Lord for the work of carrying the doctrines of Lu-
ther's Reformation to the remote regions of America. He stands
before us in his history and the permanent results of his labors, as
a model of a Lutheran pastor, still rebuking the unfaithful, still
speaking soothing words to the desponding, still guiding all Avho
will follow, to the Redeemer whom he loved and adored.
When this remarkable man first came to Philadelphia in Novem-
ber 1742, he at once commenced the work, with divine aid, of con-
solidating the dispersed fiock which he there found. His compre-
hensive mind and energetic character, as a missionary, soon con-
ducted him to other points also. After having laid the corner-stone
of St. Michael's Church in Philadelphia in less than five months
after his arrival, he appears to have visited Lancaster in December,
1743, where his personal character as well as the unction of his
preaching must have deeply affected the people ; in one of his re-
ports of that period he makes the following remark in reference to
the debt incurred by the building of the Phihadelphia church: "Our
Lutheran brethren in the faith, in a new town called Lancaster, GO
miles from Philadelphia, have sent us a sum of money equivalent to
Centenary Jubilee. 11
100 German dollars."* AVhen we consider the limited means of
the men of that day and the comparatively greater value of the pre-
cious metals, this voluntary donation by the Lancaster brethren
may well be termed a munificent act, indicative of a noble and zeal-
At this period, however, it pleased the Lord to subject the Lan-
caster con^reoration to a sore trial, which is full of instruction to la-
ter ages. A spirit of discord appeared, which attempted to profane
the garden of the Lord, and banish truth and love. It was not
gross vice, it was not unblushing infidelity, it was not any fraudu-
lent business transaction that then convulsed the church ; for such
dangers, which at once reveal their own character, the people were
well prepared. We possess, in reference to the whole series of
events, the testimony of Dr. Muhlenberg himself, recorded by him
after his long continued efforts in the case, sustained as these were
by fervent prayer, had made him personally acquainted with all the
facts. The danger proceeded fiom the peculiar form of one man's
unfaithfulness to the orthodox doctrines of the Lutheran Confessions.
That man professed to be a Lutheran, and never, so far as the re-
cords show, denied the Trinity, nor the inspiration of the Scriptures,
nor similar features of our creed. But he availed himself of his po-
sition to undermine the confidence of Lutherans in their church
creed, insidiously suppressed or ridiculed our holy faith generally,
and dishonestly betrayed a confiding people. We shall merely
give a general view of the case, and refer to the copious statements
respecting it which are accessible to all in the Halle Reports. f
Dr. Muhlenberg states in the year 174T that the Lancaster congre-
gation which had previously counted large numbers of members, was
at that time thrown into the utmost disorder. They had, probably be-
fore his own arrival, transmitted through a Swedish merchant of Phila-
delphia a memorial to the arch-bishop of Upsal in Sweden,^ a dis-
* H. Rep. p 22.
tH Rep. p. 67—75, 82, 230-238, 673, 1353—4.
t "The Church in Sweden— has somewhat of an episcopal constitution, but this epis-
copacy is maintained upon the ground of convenience, o/ political expediency, and not, as
is the Episcopacy of England, upon the assumed principle of apostolic succession."—
Earh/ History, &c„ pp. 30, 31.— "The inhabitants of Sweden are Lutheran.-;, and have
retained the episcopal mode of churcli government, though they do not, like the English
Episcopal church, reject consislorial or synodical ordination," Hazelius's History, p.
53 note, Mr Kurtz's ordination is an apt illustration ; see Hal. Rep, p, 676, and es
pecially pp. 852 and 1128.
13 Centenary Jubilee.
tinguished representative of the Lutheran church, and entreated
him te send to them, (in Dr. Muhlenberg's words), "a teacher ac-
cording to the Holy Scriptures, the Augsburg Confession, and the
other symbolical books." With their characteristic liberality they
also sent a sufficient sum of money to defray the expenses of the
long journey. At this time there was a young man, named Nyberg,
living in the family of an influential Swedish nobleman, in the ca-
pacity of a private tutor. He had originally studied civil engineer-
ing as a profession. He hastily acquired a superficial knowledge
of theological science, and then, through his patron, applied for the
situation in Lancaster to the Swedish church authorities. He sol-
emnly pledged himself to adhere to the Symbolical Books, and was
commissioned to proceed as a Lutheran clergyman to America. —
But he had secretly adopted the doctrinal views of another body of
Christians, whose interests alone he intended to promote. He was
received in Lancaster, says Dr. Muhlenberg, as an angel of God,
and administered the Lord's Supper for the first time on the third
Sunday in Advent, 1744 So attractive was his manner of preach-
ing that multitudes of other denominations regularly frequented the
services, and the old church was soon considerably enlarged in or-
der to receive the increasing number of admiring hearers. Many
souls appeared to be awakened, and the preacher was regarded as a
"burning and a shining light.* Then he commenced to mutilate
the Lutheran doctrines of Christ's Person, natures, office and states,
and ridiculed those of repentance, faith, sanctification and prayer.
It is necessary to remark here, in order to do justice to Dr. Muh-
lenberg, whose conflicts with this man and. his party were long con-
tinued and severe, that the venerable patriarch, like all the godly men
sent hither from Halle, was conscientiously all that his name im-
parted — a Lutheran minister of the Gospel. These men were trained
in the school of the devout Spener, whose well known work : "Plain
exposition of Christian Doctrine, according to Luther's Small Cate-
chism," possessed in their eyes almost the sacred character of a
symbolical book. Spener here teaches that Baptism is sanctified by
the Lord and constituted to be not only an external application of
water, but also an internal and spiritual "washing of regeneration,"
(Tit. 3 : 5), and that the communicant receives not only bread and
* "He was a man of keen susceptibility, of strong passions; and, had his training been
thorougli, his understanding- enlightened and solid in proportion, he niig-lit have become
long and eniincnUj' uselul, »Slc," Early Hislory, ^c, p. 111.
Centknary Jubilee. 18
wine at the Lord's Table, but also the true and essential bodj and
blood of the Lord Jesus, in a sacramental manner. Thus Dr. Muh-
lenberg gladly reports instances which revealed distinctly "the
grace of Holy Baptism" in the case of children,* and his reverence
for the Sacraments as means of grace exhibit him as a genuine dis-
ciple of the school of Arndt, Spener and Francke. Such doctrines
or others which were very precious in his eyes, were diluted or de-
rided or misinterpreted and virtually scorned by Nyberg.
Let us here properly undei'stand a feature m Dr. Muhlenberg's
character, the singular beauty and harmonious proportions of which
have not always been properly understood and appreciated. His per-
sonal relations with members of other denominations were moulded not
only by the nicest senseof honor, but also by thespirit of pure Christian
love. There were many Presbyterian, Episcopalian, German Reform-
ed and Moravian clergymen and laymen with whom he frequently
came in contact, and among whom he counted many personal fiiends.
besides the German Reformed Pastor Slatter.f He valued them and
loved them as Christian brethren, and respected all their rights and
religious convictions ; the difference in their doctrinal views could
not possibly embarrass or even cast a shadow on their delightful
social and private intercourse. Persons of other denominations tes-
tified to the edifying influences of his sermons, although these, as
he himself relates^! plainly showed that he was a Lutheran in doe-
trine. He and good men of other eccle&i^istical names entertained
mutual respect ; each honored and loved the other as- an honest, con-
scientious Christian man. But Dr. Muhlenberg did believe that
every man should act honestly and consistently. He would proba-
bly never have disturbed Nyberg in the possession of the Lutheran
name, even if Nyberg, as a private individual, had differed widely
from the doctrines of the Church. But when this man availed him-
self of his ecclesiastical name and official position for the purpose
of misguiding uninstructed Lutherans, or corrupting the faith of the
Church, or sowing tares "while men slept," and scattering around
him the seeds of disunion and strife, Dr. Muhlenberg was not a man
who could survey such a course with respect or only tacit disappro-
bation. He claimed that Nyberg, whose honest convictions he, of
course, did not desire to control, should either believe and teach a&
* H. Rep, p. 158, 207, and Early History, Sfc., p. 1^.
tH. Rep. p. 502,
t H. Rep. p. 503,
14 Centenary Jubilee.
he had officialiy pledged himself to do, and then retain the Lutheran
tiame, or else, as every man is perfectly at liberty to do, should
adopt any other denominational appellation that expressed his faith,
and, like a free man, should avow his real sentiments and retire from
the false position which he held — then he would be an honest man,
"worthy of confidence and love.
Now when he bore witness against Nyberg's disingenuous course
and attempted to defend the faith of the Lancaster congregation,
this man and his adherents gravely expressed doubts of Dr. Muh-
lenberg's piety, represented him as a very dangerous man, and with
pretended charity expressed the fear that his tenacity in adherii g
to the old and established Lutheran system of faith was little less
atrocious than the sin against the Holy Ghost. And one of Ny-
berg's clerical friends afterwards visited the next pastor of this con-
gregation, Mr. Handschuh, for the purpose of denouncing the Ger-
man Universities, including Halle, as Satan's schools, and, as if in-
vested with omniscience, of deploring that the members of the con-
sistories, the pastors in Berlin and elsewhere, were unconverted per-
sons, as well as of informing him that no true servant of Christ could
adhere to the Lutheran Church and its government with a good con-
While Dr. Muhlenberg sorrowfully complains of such persecution,
he expresses his pleasure that the faithful Lutherans were led by
these controversies to study the Bible and the Catechism with new
^eal. He himself seems from this period to have strictly adhered
to his practice of inscribing, particularly in the Church Books of
congregations exposed to danger, a solemn declaration, the substance
•of which, as he reports * in the case of a church in Maryland near
the Monocacy, was the following : *'We, German Lutherans, hold
to the holy Word of God in the prophetic a,nd apostolic writings,
and, further, to the unaltered Augsburg Confession and the other
The difficulties continued during the years 1745 and 1746 ; even
scenes of violence occurred, and legal proceedings were instituted,
after the British Governor's advice that the matter should be adjust-
ed by the German and Swedish clergy, had produced no result. In
the latter year Pastors Muhlenberg and Brunnholtz visited Lanca-
ster, confirmed the faith of the genuine Lutherans, and exhorted all
parties to maintain a spirit of Christian peace. The former preach-
* H. Rep. p. 234, 235.
Centenary Jubilee. 15
ed on the parable of the barren fig-tree (Luke 13 : 6-9), * and his
wise and energetic measures, which were sustained by judicial deci-
sions, ultimately compelled Nyberg to withdraw from the contest.
After July 17-48 this man finally departed from Lancaster. When
all the circumstances and the necessary legal documents were sub-
sequently communicated to the Swedish archbishop and the consis-
tory in Upsal, Nyberg's commission was revoked, he himself was
disowned, and, in consequence of his infidelity to his ordination vows
and his many delinquencies, formally deposed from the ministry, f
In October 1746, Rev. Gabriel Naesmann, the Swedish pastor of
the Wicaco church, J who nearly two years afterwards appears as a
merdber of the first Synod and assisted at the ordination of Mr.
Kurtz, addressed an earnest letter to the Lancaster congregation,
signed by himself and many other faithful Swedes ; he urged the
members to renew their pledges of adherence to the old Lutheran
faith of their fathers, and to emerge from their recent troubles with
new fidelity and zeal.
As we may easily conceive, the congregation presented a mourn-
ful aspect to the eyes of Dr. Muhlenberg, when he repeated his visit
in June 1747. The members had entreated him and his colleasrue
Brunnholtz to provide them with a faithful pastor. Mr. Kurtz, who
was not yet ordained, but labored as a catechist in Tulpehocken,
consented to divide his time between the two charges until a pastor
should arrive, || and accordingly spent two weeks at his original post
and then the same period in Lancaster, where the divine blessing vis-
ibly attended his labors. The Philadelphia pastors occasionally visited
the place also, for the purpose of administering the holy Sacraments.
At length the appeals for aid which had been sent from America
to Dr. Ziegenhagen of London, the Lutheran court chaplain of
<jreorge II., as well as to Halle, IF were successful, and Rev. John
Frederick Handschuh arrived ; he reached Philadelphia April 5,
* H. Rep. p. 74.
t H. Rep, p. 73 note, 187, 573.
t "Haifa mile below the southern limits of the city of Penn, stood the Swedisli church
of Wicaco — built in 1669 ^c." Early Hist, Sfc. p, 22.
II H Rep. 76, 230.
IT The Rev. Dr. and Prof Gotthilf Augustus Francke (died Sept. 2, 1769) who is so
frequently mentioned in ronnection with Dr. Ziegenhagen, labored long and faithfully in
Halle as the successor of his distinguished father, Augustus Hermann Francke, (the
founder of the Orphan House), who died June 8, 1727. Tlie former is described as the
only son of the elder Francke, and as Pastor and Professor in Halle, in "Franken's Slif-
tungen" Vol. II. 266. III. 15.
16 Centenary Jubilee.
1748, and soon afterwards proceeded to Lancaster, accompanied by
Pastors Muhlenberg and Brunnholtz.
Mr. Handschuh, who was born June 14, 1714, had, in the kind
Providence of God, not only received an excellent education, but
was also placed under very happy religious influences, and at an ear-
ly period gave his heart wholly to Christ. He was ordained in 1744,
and assumed a pastoral charge in Saalfeld, in one of the Saxon duch-
ies. The call from America seemed to Dr. Francke to indicate Mr.
Handschuh as the individual who possessed suitable qualifications
for the proposed work. As a self-denying, conscientious man, he
accepted the call, and was regularly commissioned by Drs. Francke
He preached his first sermon in Lancaster May 3, 1748, and, two
days afterwards, officiated in Earltown, (the modern New Holland),
14 miles, as he states, from Lancaster. Mr. Muhlenberg and his
colleague had previously, in April, reorganized the distracted con-
gregation and installed a new Church council. It was finally de-
termined that Mr. Handschuh should become the provisional pastor
of the congregation, and he accordingly preached his introductory
sermon on May 26. He describes the town of Lancaster of 1748
as a place containing about 400 dwelling houses, to which rapid ad-
ditions were constantly made, and remarks that it was inhabited
chiefly by Germans. The congregational school which he establis-
ed, was soon crowded, and the English, Irish and German pupils
who applied for admission, could not all be accommodated. His la-
bors in the pulpit — during his pastoral A^sits — at the frequent meet-
ings of the church officers — and among his catechumens, were emin-
ently blessed. The removal from Lancaster of those who had agit-
ated the congregation, materially tended to establish union and peace.
On August 4, the number of communicants was 185, and in Decem-
ber, on the 2d Sunday in Advent, he confirmed 43 persons. His
labors were incessant ; he preached in Lancaster, in Earltown, in
York and many other places, with incredible zeal, and even severe
luMuorrhages from the lungs which ensued, could not long compel
the indefatigable man to rest from his labors. The church edifice
also, the foundation of which was beginning to yield after the pre-
vious enlargement, was repaired, in consequence of his earnest and
In June 1749 the second meeting of the Pennsylvania Synod was
held in Lancaster. The Lord's Supper was administered on that
Centenary Jubilee. 17
occasion (June 4,) and it may be mentioned as an illustration of the
spirit and forms of the church discipline of that period, that, at the
preparatory service, a penitent appeared before the congregation
and publicly entreated all to forgive the past evil and offensive course
of conduct of which he had been guilty.* On Sunday afternoon,
Mr. Handschuh relates, the members of the Synod, with other
guests, sixty in number, went in procession to the private residence
of a member of the church council, where they dined. While the
guests were at table in the different apartments of the house, devout
hymns were sung by each group, and Mr. Conrad Weiser, a man
highly distinguished in the early annals of Pennsylvania, accom-
panied by an Englishman who held a high position in the govern-
ment, visited each banquet-chamber in succession ; both expressed
the great satisfaction which the good order observed by the clergy
and the company generally, afforded them. The pastors and church-
members did not, even in seasons of relaxation, forget that they were
professing christians. f
The number of communicants at Easter in 1T50 had risen to
243. Mr. Handschuh's health was very frail, and often confined
him to the house. But he had fortunately secured at this period X
"an help meet for him," and was married May 1, 1750 in his church,
on which occasion Dr. Muhlenberg officiated in the presence of sev-
eral clerical and other friends, including Conrad Weiser, who had
been specially invited. He mentions in his journal the arrival and
the departure of his honored guests on the auspicious occasion, but
mysteriously forbears to tell the happy event itself which brought
the company together. It appears, however, that when Mr. Hand-
schuh selected a wife among the daughters of the land, some of the
people regarded the transaction as a congregational matter — an
opinion, which in many a later similar case, has been revived — while
Mr. Handschuh had deemed it his privilege to consult his personal
feelings alone, and had not submitted the election of the pastor's
wife, like that of the pastor himself, to the suffrages of the congre-
gation. The dissatisfaction which various individuals manifested,
and which threatened to circumscribe Mr. Handschuh's usefulness
very seriously, prepared his mind for a change in his pastoral rela-
tions ; and, as he had in reality rather been a provisional than a set-
* The discipline of the Church is also strikingly illustrated in an extract given in
Early History, ^c, pp. 120, 121.
tli. Rep, 405,406,
t Ev, Review, 1855, p. 153, Memoir of Rev. J. J, Handschuh,
18 Centenary Jubilee.
tied pastor, he consented to accept a call to labor in Germantown,
His departure was deeply lamented by many estimable members.
He preached his farewell sermon on the Sunday Cantate, May 5,
1751, to a weeping congregation, and in the following week proceed-
ed to his new home in Germantown. He afterwards removed to
Philadelphia, where he died October 9, 1T64, as pastor of the Ger-
After his departure from Lancaster, this congregation was tem-
porarily supplied by at least three individuals during 1751 and 1752.
The first was the Rev. Tobias Wagner, a pastor from Wurtemberg,
who had accompanied a number of emigrants to New-England. Af-
ter his arrival, he proceeded, however, to Pennsylvania, and was
kindly received by Dr. Muhlenberg. He remained but a short
time here, and then assumed a charge in Reading. A Wurtemberg
student who had reached Pennsylvania in his wanderings, named
Engeland, of whom we have no other knowledge, succeeded Mr.
Wagner. He was followed by Rev. Mr. Wortmann, who had, be-
fore his departure from Europe, been the pastor of a congregation
in the vicinity of Hamburg ; he, too, after a short residence receiv-
ed a call from Reading, which he accepted.
The congregation, in the mean time, being anxious to enjoy the
services of a trustworthy and settled pastor, had addressed a memo-
rial to the Consistory of Stuttgart, Wurtemberg, by the advice of
Mr. Wagner, in which they expressed a strong desire that a com-
petent person should be selected and commissioned to labor as their
pastor. The distinguished ecclesiastical authority to which they
appealed, appreciated the character and spirit of the Lancaster Lu-
therans, and in May 1752, after careful consideration, unanimously
selected the Rev. John Siegfried Gerock for the post. This ex-
cellent man, who had been already ordained by the consistory of
Darmstadt,* reached Lancaster in March 1753, and officiated as
the pastor of this congregation during the period of fourteen years,
until, in the spring of the year 1767, he accepted a call from the
German Lutheran congregation in the city of New- York, which had
recently erected a new church. He at once, after his arrival, united
with the Synod, the seventh convocation of which occurred in June
1754 in New-Hanover. Of his history scarcely any details occur
in the Halle Reports, with the exception of the remark that he la-
bored here with great fidelity, but amid much tribulation. At a
*Hazelius's Hist. p. 77.
Centenary Jubilee. 19
later period, between 1773 and 1787, be re-appears as tbe pastor of
the congregation in Baltimore, and tbe immediate predecessor of
tbe Rev. Dr. Daniel Kurtz.* — One interesting document, formally
signed and sealed, still exists, in Avbicb he solemnly declares, that
with all tbe strength which God shall give him, he will endeavor to
fulfil tbe commission assigned to him by the civil and ecclesiastical
authorities of his country, and proceed to Lancaster, and, in ac-
cordance with tbe Symbolical Books, earnestly labor by pure doc-
trine and a holy walk to edify the congregation.
It was during tbe period of the pastorship of Mr. Gerock that
tbe interesting event occurred, to the commemoration of which this
day has been appropriated. While the congregation began to
flourish in consequence of tbe divine blessing which signally at-
tended the pastor's efforts to restore union and harmony, and to
build up believers in their holy faith, the church edifice itself, even
after the repairs which Mr. Handschuh bad succeeded in effecting,
exhibited visible signs of decay. Tbe increasing number of mem-
bers, moreover, and tbe encouraging evidences of continued and
rapid accessions, demanded a building of more liberal dimensions.
A congregational meeting was held January 1, 1761, after much
anxious deliberation among tbe members ; tbe whole subject was
conscientiously discussed, and, as an existing German document sets
forth, it was resolved "deliberately, voluntarily and firmly" by
all tbe members that their duty to God, their own religious wants,
and those of their children, and tbe honor due to the Saviour, im-
peratively demanded that a new church should be built, in order
that therein tbe word of God might be preached and the holy Sacra-
ment administered, in accordance with tbe unaltered Augsburg
Confession. It was also decided that a certain lot, which is tbe one
on which this church now stands, should be forthwith purchased. —
Tbe latter resolution was at once carried into effect. This action
was ratified at another congregational meeting held a few days sub-
sequently, and tbe whole task of erecting the building was assigned
to Mr. Gerock and three elders, Adam Simon Kubn, Bernhard
Hubley and Frederick Jayser. These men were in earnest as their
large subscriptions and their prompt action fully demonstrate.
It was also resolved that the Synod should be invited to bold its
annual meeting on Trinity Sunday, May 17, in Lancaster, in order
that, on the succeeding Monday, the corner-stone might be laid in
* Hazdius's Hist. pp. 94, 114, 147 ; Ev. Review, 1857, p. 525,
20 Centenary Jubilee.
the presence of the assembled synodical members. The invitation was
cordially accepted. The brethren, including Dr. Wrangel, the uni-
versally beloved and cherished Swedish Provost, arrived on Satur-
day, as Avell as Dr. Muhlenberg and other pastors, Kurtz, both the
elder and the younger, Bryzelius, Schaum and Borell ; all were
most courteously received by the pastor and his efficient church offi-
cers. The services on Sunday, conducted by the several members
of Synod, proved to be a spiritual feast to the assembled guests and
to all other devout hearers of the Word.
The great day now arrived ! On Monday morning, the 18th of
May, 1761, one century ago, the members of the Synod repaired
at an early hour to the residence of pastor Gerock, and, together
with himself and all the officers of the church,* signed a document
which was to be deposited in the corner-stone. This document, of
which no full copy is known to exist, related the whole previous his-
tory of the congregation in detail, and then declared that the sacred
edifice which the corner-stone was intended to sustain, should be
called "The Church of the Holy Trinity," and be consecrated solely
to the cause of evangelical truth, as that truth is taught by the
apostles and prophets, and set forth in the pure, unaltered Augs-
At 10 o'clock the members of the Synod and others, went in pro-
cession to the old church, and Rev. Dr. Muhlenberg delivered a
discourse on the 60th chapter of Isaiah ; after the service all pro-
ceeded to the immediate vicinity of the corner-stone. The founda-
tion of the new building had already been constructed, and the walls
had been raised to a height of several feet ; the corner-stone was
also ready, exhibiting a cavity in the centre, but did not yet occupy
its appointed place. The whole assembly, standing in a devout at-
titude, united in singing several stanzas of the favorite German
Church hymn, beginning with the words : ">SV?/ Lob und Uhr dem
Jioechsten Gut."'\ Then Pastor Gerock read aloud the document
which has already been described, transferred it to a small box, and
deposited the whole in the corner-stone ; after this act the stone
*They wem the following: — Elders and Trustees : Adam S. Kuhn, Michael Gross,
Bernhard Hublcy^ Frederick Jayser, Gerhard Brenner, Ludwig Lauinann. — Deacons
(Vorstcher) ; Christoph L. Mayer, Martin Laumann, Carl Schneider, Adam Haiuhrecht.
tTiiis hymn is the only one wliich is known to have been composed by Jonv J.
ScHUETZ, a counsellor at law of the city of Frankfort on the Maine, and an intimate
friend of Spener; ha died in 1590. — It has been translated ("All praise and thanks to
God most High, &,c,") and inserted by MisaC. Winkworth in the Second Series of
Lyra Germanica, p. 1!)G,
Centenary Jubilee. 21
itself was reverently removed to its proper place, in the name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holj Ghost, and firmly secured.
Dr. Wrangel now came forward, and with a mallet struck the stone
thrice, and offered a short prayer. Every clerical and lay-member
of the Synod, and every church-officer in regular succession ap-
proached the stone, raised the mallet and by distinct strokes on the
stone, of the same mystic number, indicated that his heart prayed
for the completion and perpetuity of the building. Again did the
vast assembly sing to God's praise one of our old and magnificent
German church-hymns, and then each spectator devoutly retired,
carrying the blessing of God with him.
The members of the Synod withdrew to the parsonage, where the
hospitabl'3 church-officers had caused a table to be spread, which
bountifully supplied the wants of the honored guests. As the whole
day constituted a festival, synodical business was entirely suspended
by the brethren. In the afternoon they proceeded, by the invita-
tion of several members of the congregation, who were also the ma-
gistrates of the town, to the Court-house. Here an exhibition, pre-
pared for the occasion and consisting of speeches delivered by
several pupils of the school and of various pieces of music that were
admirably performed, furnished the guests with an agreeable recrea-
tion. The evening was passed at the residence of Mr. Michael
Gross, an elder, whose delicate hospitality provided for the clergy
an entertainment of instrumental and vocal music ; the tasteful and
happy adaptation of the pieces to the grave, clerical character of
his guests, did not fail to obtain a respectful recognition.
These simple details we have now presented, not only because
they are really interesting and instructive in themselves, but also
because the church-officers on that occasion resolved that the pastor
should preserve an account of the solemnities of the day, and after-
wards exhibited anew their solicitude by requesting Dr. Muhlen-
berg, whose narrative still belongs to the treasures of this church,
to inscribe the whole in the Church Book, for the sake of their chil-
dren, to whom the narrative would naturally be deeply interesting.
The work of building the church appears to have been steadily
and prudently continued, while, at the same time, Mr. Gerock's
labors were, as heretofore, faithfully and successfully performed.
At the meeting of the Synod, a year after the laying of the corner-
stone, he reports the baptism of nearly 280 children for Lancaster
and Beaver Creek, which, even if the modern disproportion between
22 Centenary Jubilee.
the number of communicants and of baptized children be taken into
the account, would indicate that the number of communicant mem-
bers may have rangeil from 700 to 1000. Forty persons, including
one Roman Catholic, were confi.-m si in the same year. The Ger-
man School, which was sustained by the pecuniary contributions of
the members, was crowded to its utmost capacity, and then admit-
ted 90 children.
At length this church was completed, five years after the event
which we commemorate to-day.* Again the brethren assembled,
including the pastors. Dr. Muhlenberg of Philadelphia, Kurtz, Sr ,
of Tulpehocken, Kurtz, Jr., of Earltown, Stoever of Lebanon, Krug
of Reading, and others. On the 4th of May, 1765, on the Sunday
Rogate, this building was solemnly consecrated to the worship of
the Triune God. The solemnities of the occasion our time does not
permit us to describe — another speaker on a future occasion may
appropriately commemorate the pleasing event. Then, too, a fa-
vorable opportunity and time will be secured for describing that
brilliant succession of pastors whom the Lord has, during the past
century, sent to this congregation. These were, first, the gentle
and eloquent Dr. Helmuth, who laboured here ten years, and then
was called to Philadelphia ; the tender exhortations which he there
addressed to us in our childhood at the Sunday afternoon catecheti-
cal exercises, when the children of the congregation recited the Ca-
techism, made inefi'aceable impressions on many youthful hearts.
He Avas succeeded by the energetic and scientific Dr. Henry E.
Muhlenberg, who died here, after a faithful pastoral service of 35
years. Then appeared the noble-minded and wise Dr. Endress,
who also died here, after his useful labors had extended over 12
years. The guileless and indefatigable Dr. Baker succeeded, whose
* Dr. Muhlenberg has left a detailed account on record of the proceedings at tlie conse.
cration. At a preliminary meeting ofthc pastor and cliurch-council, which, at their special
request, he also attended, the liturgical services which were to be held, were minutely
arranged. The place of every individual in the procession, the order of the hymns,
prayers, scripture portions, choral performances, &,c„ were all determined. Dr. M,
adds that the programme, which he gives in full, had been observed in the most success-
ful manner, and concludes with a serious admonition to succeciiiiig generations, for
whose satisfaction the statement is made, to remain faithful to the Redeemer ; hcajiplies
in moving terms tlic words: — " — Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy
crown." Rev. 3 : 11. — The following were the church-officers at the time : — Eiders and
Trustees} Adam Kuhn, Michael Gross, Bc^rnhard Hubloy, Gerhard Brenner, Ludwig
Laumann, Michael Hubley. — Deacons : Cliristian Werlh, Caspar Singer, Carl Klug, Veit
Centenary Jubilee. 23
pastoral services, continued during 25 years, were also eminently
blessed. And then, eight years ago, the present esteemed pastor
was called to this post ; and his labors, if the Lord spares his life,
and the present auspicious state of the congregation is an index,
will be as long continued and as abundantly useful and blessed, as
those of any of his admirable predecessors.
Permit me to remark in conclusion, that 100 years ago, a docu-
ment was placed in the corner-stone of this church, testifying be-
fore God, that this building should be consecrated to the worship
of God, in accordance with the pure, evangelical doctrines and the
time-honored usages of our own venerable Church. To-day, pre-
cisely 100 years afterwards, we stand here in the divine presence,
in order to inquire whether the vows of the builders of this church
have been held sacred by their successors. And here, in that pre-
sence, we now publicly declare, that, as far as a careful survey of
the history of the past century authorizes us to speak, the solemn
obligations so long resting on the congregation that has worshipped
here, have been observed conscientiously, inviolably and uninter-
ruptedly, to the present day. Each pastor, since the building has
been erected, was a man honored by the Church and by all others
as a clergyman of eminent natural abilities, developed and refined
by judicious early culture and subsequent attention to study — as an
able preacher of the gospel — as a faithful pastor — as eminently
pure and holy in heart and life, and, in reference to ecclesiastical
points, confessedly a sound Lutheran theologian. What a magnifi-
cent scene the history of this church presents to our delighted view !
What blessings have crowned the faithful, watchful care of the mem-
bers for the purity of doctrine and for a corresponding holiness of
life ! — Brethren ! As you value your souls, as you fear your Maker,
as you hope for heaven, walk onward resolutely in the path in which
former generations found light and comfort and peace ! Let no timid
feelings ever propose to you the sacrifice of one particle of your
holy church faith and of your precious church usages ; let no ser-
vile spirit ever prompt you implicitly to adopt the views or practices
of strangers to your faith. You have in the creed and in the cus-
toms of your Church a glorious inheritance, transcending in histori-
cal splendor and intrinsic value and completeness any glittering gift
which those who dissent from you, might ofier to bestow. Let
your faith, by God's grace, produce its intended fruit — holy hearts
and holy lives. Then, when a second centennial celebration shall
24 Centenary Jubilee.
occur, your children and children's children will appear on this spot,
coming first from a visit to your graves. But they will not mourn
on that festive occasion — it Avill be to them, as this day is to you,
a day of holy Christian joy ; for they will commemorate anew God's
faithful love to the children of his servants, and they will have the
soothing conviction that, although you are no longer with them, yet
your fidelity to divine truth and your humble, zealous imitation of
Christ, have transferred you to happier homes — you will not be on
earth with them — you will be with God in heaven forever ! — Amen !
Rev. Prof. F. A. MUHLENBERG.
" Walk about Zion, and go round about her ; tell the totvers thereof.
3fark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces ; that ye may
tell it to the generation folloiving. — Ps. 48 : 12, 13.
The emotion of joy in the soul, mj Christian friends, arises from
the contemplation of present or future good. It has different de-
grees of purity, varying with the nature of the truths which excite it,
being most excellent and rational, when it arises from a conscious-
ness of possessing that spiritual knowledge, those spiritual dispo-
sitions and affections which qualify men for the duties of earth, and
the rewards of heaven. This elevated kind of joy is found even in
angelic minds ; its primal source being the bosom of God»
As there are different kinds of joy, so also are there different
outward manifestations of it. These are not limited to individuals,
but embrace in their extended range, families and also nations, liv-
ing in every age of the world, under every diversity of climate, and
every stage of social developement. With the general, they have
had also their special seasons, for the manifestation of joy in an ex-
traordinary or unusual degree. The yearly return of a birth-day,
the celebration of a silver or golden wedding-day, in the case of in-
dividuals, or the annual or centennial festivals of nations, commemo-
rative of their deliverance from bondage or oppression, have been
made the occasions, to manifest by extraordinary external acts, the
joyous elevation of their feelings ; and to congratulate each other,
in cheerful song and lively music, upon the happy condition in
which they were placed. They thus contemplated together the
deliverance of the past, enjoyed the good of the present, and looked
with hope to the future. Nor have these been confined merely to
26 Centenary Jubilee.
secular occasions, joyous celebrations have formed part of every oeli-
gion that has ever existed among men. They were a prescribed
part of the ritual of the Jewish as they are of the Christian church.
The Jews had their three annual festivals, their sabbatical year and
their year of jubilee, when they sang the praises of the Lord, and
rejoiced in all that he had done for their happiness as a people.
The Christian religion likewise is not designed to diminish, but to
increase our joys ; not to destroy, but to purify and chasten them,
to prepare us by the songs and rational pleasures of earth, for the
exalted and everlasting hallelujahs of heaven.
Thus encouraged, both by reason and religion, it is no wonder,
my Christian friends, both aged and young, it is no wonder, that
you have felt yourselves impelled to commemorate by appropriate
ceremonies, to hallow and make profitable by suitable public servi-
ces, the hundreth anniversary of the laying of the corner-stone of
this noble structure, in which you now worship Almighty Grod, and
to manifest to the world your joyous feelings by such an array of
the beautiful flowers of the field, and such delightful strains of jubi-
lant music. It has pleased you, through your respected vestry, to
honor me with an invitation to participate in the festivities of this
occasion, and to aid in rendering my humble contribution to the
profit of this centennial celebration. It would have been my pre-
ference, as it was my expectation, to unite with you in this celebra-
tion not in this public capacity, but amid the great throng of less
conspicuous participants. But your invitation, not my own feelings,
led me to believe it a call of duty, to occupy this, under all the at-
tendant circumstances, to me unenviable position. We propose
therefore to address to you a few thoughts, which we regard as ap-
propriate to this interesting occasion, suggested by the words of the
Psalm already repeated : " Walk about Zion, and go round about
her; tell the totvers thereof, Mark ye iv ell her bulwarks^ consider
her jyalaces, that ye may tell it to the generation following.''
You will surely not expect me, on an occasion like the present,
to furnish you with an explanation, in the regular and formal way,
of this passage of scripture, it will be used rather as a guide to such
reflections of a general nature, as will be profitable and innocent,
because based upon the unerring oracles of God's Avord. The tone
of the verses you will observe is exceedingly joyous, it may be said
without extravagance exultant^ and we desire to present to you
some of the reasons which should authorize and encourage you, to
Centenary Jubilee. 27
indulge in the same joyful emotions. You are therefore authorized
to rejoice, and to manifest to the world your joy on this occasion,
when you look back on the past period of one hundred years, prin-
cipally for three reasons : your church has been a Christian church ;
it has been a Lutheran church ; it has been a highly favored Lu-
theran church. Upon these points we will dwell for a short time.
Now it may be premised, that the world and the scriptures differ
materially in the choice, as well as estimate of objects to excite our
praise, as they do in the extent of their descriptions. The former,
whether looked at as individuals, or nations, are wont to make the
eye, the sole agent to lead them to a conclusion. They judge mere-
ly by the external, whilst the internal or spiritual is generally alto-
gether neglected or overlooked. They may be guided by the eye
of reason in many cases, yet they are either unable or unwilling to
use the keen and perfect eye of faith. When, therefore, they
speak of individual or national glory, it is ever to celebrate the
riches, the imposing display, the external manifestations of power,
the large naval force, the well-constructed forts bristling with
successive rows of cannon, protruding through massive walls, the
immense and well-disciplined standing armies, the inexhaustible re-
som'ces, the vast multitude of the people, the splendid victories of
the troops by land or by sea. This they call power ; these swell
their enthusiasm. But it is not thus with the Scriptures. They
view all these things in a different light. Whilst as means, under
certain circumstances, they teach us not to undervalue them ; they
warn us not to regard them with such excessive admiration, as to
do violence to the truth. They do not constitute the real greatness
and power and glory, either of an individual or a nation, they are
but the ornamented casket, whilst the rich jewel itself is contained
within. All these things will avail nothing, if they be not accom-
panied with that favor of God, without which every thing else, how-
ever imposing externally, will be of no avail. How, for instance,
would the world, even enlightened by reason, have despised, Moses
with his simple rod at the Red Sea, or Elijah alone amid the priests
of Baal, or Paul and Silas, with their feet in the stocks, in prison
at Philippi, or the twelve trembling apostles of Jesus at Jerusalem,
and have regarded the means in their hands, as altogether inefficient
for the accomplishment of the mighty objects with which they were
intrusted. Yet faith discerned the unseen and almighty power be-
hind the cloud ; the horses of fire, and chariots of fire ; the earth-
28 Centenary Jubilee.
quake bursting open tke stout prison doors ; and that unseen yet
■effective agency of the Spirit, operating with the rapidity and
power of the viewless wind, through the ancient world, though
fortified by the mightiest power, and defended by the highest in-
telligence, prostrating in its course all opposition, until it penetrated
the very palace and mounted the imperial throne of the Ccesars.
It is God that rules, and not men : "For thus saith the Lord : Let
not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man
glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches ; but let
him that glorieth, glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth
me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving kindness, judgment
and righteousness in the earth." This is true power and true glory,
and in this we may joy ; and here we may be sure, that our praises
will never be extravagant or excessive. You will perceive by a
close examination of this Psalm, that whilst the writer in the close
of it speaks of the external beauty of the earthly Zion, '■'■her towers^''
'■'■lier bulwarks,'" '■''lier ijalaces,'' the great burden of it is; "Great is
the Lord and greatly to be praised, in the city of our God, in the
mountain of his holiness" — "God is known in her palaces as a re-
fuge," we have thought of thy loving kindness," "thy right hand
is full of righteousness." These are substance, of which the others
are but the shadow. The perfections of God, the manifestation of
these for the defence of his people, their appropriation to their con-
dition by the hand of faith, are the great things which the writer
magnifies in his beautiful and poetic words. These therefore are the
proper elements of our joy. Christianity is only the more complete
display of these same perfections for the benefit of all believers.
God authorizes you to exult, that you have been, and still continue
a Christian church. This is both a duty and a privilege; and the
extent of your joy need only be limited by the degree in which you
are such a church. That you have been, and are such, needs no
proof. The very name of this noble edifice, when erected by your
forefathers one hundred years ago, "Trinity," testifies to the belief
and spirit in which it was founded. This name at once suggests the
grandest mystery of the Christian system. But the authorized
records of your church, describe more fully in all the essential par-
ticulars, the principles which guided your fathers, when they laid
the corner-stone of this house for the worship of God. That stone
was laid by believers in the Christian religion.
But what is the Christian religion ? Its essence, Avithout the minute
Centenary Jubilee. 29
details, the revelation of God's extraordinary love to the human race,
in sending his only begotten Son into the world, "that vrhosoever be-
lieveth in him, might not perish, but have everlasting life." It is the
source, and only source of our strength and happiness, for time and
eternity. It is the wonderful counsel af the Triune God from all
eternity, to rescue men from the bondage and misery of sin, and to
make them ultimately co-heirs, with the "everlasting Son of the
Father :" It is the hi&tory of the mission of the Son of God into the
world, "in the likeness of sinful flesh," after along period of prepa-
ration in the world for his reception, his life of sufferinc]' whilst on
earth, the wonderful particulars of his earthly pilgrimage, from his
birth in the stable in Bethlehem, to his resurrection and ascension to
the right hand of the Father. It embraces the history of the estab-
lishment of the church of the Redeemer with its ministers, and it&
sacraments as one of the remedial instrumentalities for. the recovery
of man from his degradation and impurity ; the agency of the Holy
Spirit, the Purifier and Comforter to make these means effectual, to
the regeneration and salvation of the souls of men. It explains
fully the whole duty of man to God and to his fellow-men. It
opens up with great distinctness the future, with its eternal joys
and endless sorrows, as the strongest motives to a holy life ; it
illuminates the path-way of man, whilst it teaches him the use of
the varied sufferings and trials to which he is exposed in his march
to the heavenly Canaan; it unites into one brotherhood all man-
kind, and seeks to persuade them, by imitating the perfect example
of Jesus, to renovate the earth and people heaven. It teaches them^
that in the use of these means, in the simple exercise of faith in the
crucified Redeemer, they receive as a gratuity, without any merit
or worthiness on their part, all the blessings of the completed
scheme of redemption, aid for every duty and station in life, every
thing they need for body or soul on earth, and infinite, indescriba-
ble happiness in the new Jerusalem above. In these things we may
safely and perpetually exult ; for they will outlast all the fashion
of this world. But not so with other things, however brightly they
promise. Who, as an illustration, would have thought that the
beautiful arch of States which lately made up our glorious Union,,
and spanned our country like the bow of promise with its bright
colors of hope, for the oppressed of all lands, could so soon be bro-
ken into fragments ? And yet it Avas the source of our highest pride
and exultation^ and we deemed it perpetual. How insecure tliere-
fore the trust and joy of men in any thing into which God and his
religion does not enter. The works of men crumble to ruin, but his
outlast, the solid world itself. Hence in this exult ever, this glo-
rious religion of Christ — ^you cannot exhaust this theme ; for neither
these lofty arches, nor the eternal arches of heaven itself, with its
thousand and ten thousand times ten thousand angelic voices can
ever ring too much with such notes of sincere and hearty praise, for
the inspired volume itself assures us : '■^without controversy, great is
the mystery of godliness, God was manifest in the flesh, justified in
the spirit, seen of angels, |)7'ea<?7iec^ unto tJie Gentiles, believed on in
the world, received up into glori/."
But whilst you may and ought to rejoice in these first and great-
est of all truths, you may in a moderate degree also rejoice in others
arising out of these in the course of God's providential dealings with
the church, and which you have as a congregation enjoyed for the
last hundred years, and that is that you are an Evamgelical Lutheran
Church. For you this would be the same, whether you call it a
Lutheran Christian, or a Christian Lutlieran Church, You have
been, and are a part of the church of Christ, which adopts that view
of the Christian system, as Luther and the fathers of our church
understood and defended it, in our Confessional or Symbolical
books. JSfor need you be surprised that we have asserted the fact
of your being a LutJieran church, to be a proper subject for con-
gratulation on this festive occasion, for you have a birth-right as
Lutherans, in which you should ever glory, and for which you
should not fail to thank God. It is not strange, that those who
do not belong to us, who have had but little interest in us, and
little or no knowledge of the principles of our forefathers, who have
heretofore been obliged to see us through the medium of the Ger-
man language, which they were not acquainted with, should have
often looked down upon us, with indifference or even with contempt.
They may be excused because their conduct has been due to a want
of sufficient acquaintance with the subject ; but not those who have
been reared amongst us, and have without sufficient cause turned
their backs upon the religion and church of their forefathers — who,
from a false shame, have sold their valuable heritage for a mess of
pottage. There is nothing in Lutheranism of which we need be
ashamed; but enough in which we may justly glory. For the very
name Lutheran, recalls to all properly instructed sons of the mother
church of Protestant Christendom, the times of the glorious Refor-
Centenary Jubilee. 31
mation; and the distinguished line of worthies, in church and State,
in the cabinet and the field, who jointly by their valor and their
learning, succeeded in breaking off the shackles with which truth
was confined, and setting her free, and in emancipating the minds
and souls of men from the iron bondage of ages. Our space will
not allow us to dwell upon the great deeds, which, Luther and his
associates at first, and his successors afterwards, accomplished for
the cause of learning and rational liberty, since it is our design, as
more in harmony with the occasion, to bring out more prominently
the religious aspect of the question. Yet it may be said, in pass-
ing, and this is matter of congratulation, and that too without fear
of successful contradiction, that the Lutheran church in the last
three hundred years, from the days of Luther onwards, can chal-
lenge competition with any church, Protestant or Catholic, for
the extent, variety and depth of the learning of its ministers and
people. We hesitate not to make the assertion, from a sufficient
knowledge of the subject, that she, the first-born of that beautiful
company of regenerated sisters, is in these respects the equal of
any, the second to none, though each other, we cheerfully admit,
is herself greatly eminent. More we are not permitted to say at
present ; for the religious aspect of the question calls for fuller
Now we assert in the first place, and this is a fundamental ques-
tion, that if any one denies, that the Reformation was the result of
divine agency, or that the Lutheran church is a part of the Holy
Catholic or Christian church ; he is either a wilful or ignorant athe-
ist, so far as the existence and active agency of Grod are manifested
in the way of his providence and grace. For the seal of God has
been impressed upon the work of the architects, and as we learn
the genuineness of a seal, either by looking at the original or its
impression upon the wax ; so by the same impression on individuals
and society, we learn the agent who caused it. God will not give
the seal of his approbation to that, which does not proceed from
himself, or his authorized agents. But God did set his seal to the
work, in the hearts, lives and glorious deaths of millions who have
been born, reared, and passed off the stage of action, in the bosom
of the Lutheran ehurch. The work proved its genuine character
by every test, which men or devils applied to it, in the course of
its wonderful origin and progress. And as Paul said to the Cor-
inthians, many of whom doubted his apostleship : "If I be not an
32 Centenary Jitbilee.
apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you ; for the seal of mine
apostleship are ye in the Lord," so could Luther and his coadjutors
"put to silence the ignorance of foolish men." To this we might
add, that it could not be the work of Satan, nor that of man ; it
was too good for the former, too mighty for the latter ; and hence
we must conclude, with the motto on Luther's monument at Wit-
"Is it God's work, it will endure,
Is it mens' work, it will pass away,"
But it has not passed away, and will not pass away.
Besides this, they did not separate from the apostolical Christian
church, but the corrupt branch of it, the Roman Catholic. They
withdrew from her communion, because she had departed from the
principles laid down by Jesus Christ and his holy apostles ; and had
introduced doctrines and devices of human invention, intended and
calculated to bind the consciences of men, and bury under vile
rubbish, brought down by "the drag-net of antiquity," the simpli-
city of the Gospel of Christ. They could not under such circum-
stances innocently remain within her fold, they obeyed therefore
the command of God to come out from her and be separate, and
thus they have been separated ever since, and for this they are en-
titled to our gratitude, and for this you may rejoice that you are
But this is not all. They rescued from the obscurity, in which
it had been involved, from interested motives, by cunning priests,
the cardinal doctrine of the Christian religion, justification by
faith alone, without the deeds of the law ; they brought out again
the Holy Scriptures, which had been taken from the hands of
the people, for whom God had given them, translated the whole
bDdy of inspired writings, both of the Old and New Testament, into
the vernacular language of the people, that they might know clearly
the foundation of their faith, and thus inaugurated that new
era cf light and truth, amid the blessings of which we now live.
Still further. They published as the symbols of their belief, the three
ancient general Creeds of the church, along with the other Confessio-
nal Avritings, to which they held ; assigning greater prominence to
the Catechism of Luther and the Augsburg Confession, which was
presented to the brilliant assembly at Augsburg, and formed a lu-
cid defence, of the principles of the Christian religion, as they un-
derstood them to be taught in the Holy Scriptures. It is enough
here to quote what Leopold Ranke, a distinguished author of the
Cfntenary Jubilee. 33^
•'History of the Popes" says of the Smaller Catechism of Luther :
"Happy is he "who nourishes his soul with it, happy he who holds it
fast. For it possesses an imperishable power of consolation on
every occasion ;" and to add of the Augsburg Confession, that it is
a symbol which formed the basis of the Thirty Nine Articles of the
Church of England ; that Dr. Bull, an Episcopal divine of great
eminence, asserts it to be "the noblest symbol of the Reformed
churches ;" and that it has been regarded by equally able divines
of other sister communions, such as Dr. Jas. W. Alexander and
others, as one of the best defences of Protestant Christianity.
Nor did they carry the spirit of reform to such an extent, as to
abolish altogether the use of the ancient Liturgies, but they so pu-
rified, these venerable forms of prayer, handed down from the
church Catholic before them, that they have been used without
idolatry and for general edification, in varied forms, and to a grea-
ter or less extent, by all parts of the Lutheran church, since the
days of the Reformation, to the present time. Neither however
did they err, on the other extreme, by doing away with extempo-
raneous or free prayer, but guided by sound reason and scriptural
principles, retained this also in their system of church discipline
and order. They inaugurated likewise, that special system of re-
ligious instruction for the young, which is peculiar to our church ;
and in the form of catechetical teaching of these Lambs of Christ's
flock, as it was practised in the days of the Reformers and their
successors, they reached an elevation to which few, and that only
in isolated cases, of the clergy in sister churches attained.
But not to be too difiuse, the highest praise, to complete the
picture, is that they were men, whose piety will bear comparison
with that of any who have succeeded them, in the most favored
period of the church militant since that time. They showed the
excellence of their principles, by the purity of their lives. Luther
himself was a man of the most eminent devotedness to God, "mighty
in prayer," "full of faith and the Holy Ghost," — one who as a
prince had power with God and prevailed. No one ever denied
this, who was an unprejudiced observer of his life ; those who knew
him most intimately, and this fact is high praise, could never speak
of him, in these respects, without the greatest reverence and affec-
tion. Dr. Cox, who wrote his life, himself no Lutheran, has as-
serted, that he never studied any one's history, "in whose integrity
he had more confidence." Though the same high praise cannot be
34 Centenary Jubilee.
extended to the others, because Luther was a luan of an extraordi-
nary character, it can safely be said of them, that their lives were
an ornament to the church to which they belonged, and to the cause
of the Redeemer.
Having such a Lutheran ancestry from the great Reformation on-
wards ; descended from men whose constant aim was so manifestly,
to promote the glory of God and the happiness of man ; noted for
such depth of learning and holiness of life ; who accomplished so much
for Germany and the whole civilized world, of whose labors also this
church may be said to be one of the remote and beautiful fruits, you
need scarcely be urged by your speaker to lejoice, on this hundreth
anniversary of the laying of the corner-stone of this edifice. It
seems to me, under the circumstances, even after only a partial and
incomplete survey of their history, your ardor will need to be re-
strained, rather than encouraged, lest in the warmth of your ad-
miration, you ascribe to them more than their just meed of praise,
more indeed than they themselves would be willing to claim, or have
others to bestow, for fear of robbing God of the glory. Avoiding
this last extreme, you may also, for this second reason, proclaim to
the world, on this festive occasion, your joy, on rational and scrip-
tural grounds, without giving offence to any.
This thought brings us to the last reason, why you justly rejoice
at present ; you have been a highly favored church. If the bless-
ings enumerated in the preceding remarks be the greatest which
earth or heaven could bestow, as is the truth, it has been one of the
distinguishing elements of your history, that you have had the al-
most uninterrupted use and enjoyment of them, for an entire
century, scarcely without an intei'mission. This ought to awaken
your profoundest gratitude to God, and fill you with the most joy-
ous feelings ; that amid all the changes of this century, which has
passed, both in Church and State ; amid the great destitution of
Lutheran ministers in this land ; the difficulties and embarrassments
of our infant church ; the trials of our country during the gloomy
period of our revolutionary history ; you should have had no im-
portant interruption in the ministration of the means of grace.
There were but two years, during the last century, during which
you had no settled pastor ; and even then you were supplied by the
pastors from Philadelphia. This is certainly worthy of profound
gratitude ; whilst in many other places, the light was burning only
dimly or altogether extinguished upon the altar.
Centenary Jubilee. 35
Then in the next place, it was not merely an ordinary ministry,
whose services you enjoyed. You heard in this morning's discourse,
something of this series of worthy men, who have stood at varied
periods within these walls ; and we hesitate not to affirm, without
at all wishing to disparage the ministers of other churches, that for
learning, firm attachment to the principles of their beloved church,
freedom from bigotry, ability in or out of the pulpit, active eiforts to
promote the glory of God, the happiness of men in general, the internal
as well as external prosperity of the church, to which they specially
ministered, they will bear favorable comparison with any of the con-
temporary ministers of any of the sister Protestant churches in this
city, or in our entire country. Without a single exception, up to the
present time, they have all been gentlemen of education, most of them
of extended and varied culture, received either in the Universities of
the Fatherland or our own Colleges, some of them having even acted
as Professors in the educational schools of this land, whose learning
and attainments were recognized by eminent scholars of this and for-
eign countries. They thus stand out as living exponents of the settled
principle of their church, to have men rightly qualified to divide the word
of truth, well acquainted with the original languages of Scripture,
conscientiously making daily additions to their stock of knowledge,
that no obstacle might thus be placed in the way of the free course
of the gospel. They were firmly attached to the creed of their own
church, which they maintained and defended, not with the blind
enthusiasm of bigots, claiming infallibility for themselves, but with
toleration towards others, who held also the great fundamentals of
the Christian system. Thus at the consecration of this church, the
Episcopal minister, Mr. Barton, aided in the ceremonies and con-
ducted the evening service, and some of your pastors frequently
and without compensation, performed services for the members of
sister churches, especially the Episcopal, in baptizing their children
and burying their dead. They co-operated also with other denomi-
nations in efi'orts to circulate the Scriptures, one of their number
having been the first President of the Lancaster Co. Bible Society,
and others afterwards occupying the same post. They had inter-
course with others thus as Lutherans, and also as Christians. In
their laudable efforts to promote their own, they did not forget the
cause of Christ. Their highest glory was that Christ was preached,
even though by those differing from themselves in the less essential
details, and like Paul in this they rejoiced. They endeavored to
promote the spiritual interests of the congregation they served, by
36 Centenary Jubilee.
fidelity in the use of the divinely appointed means of grace, the
preaching of the word in the house of Grod, and at the graves of the
departed ; the administration of the ordinances ; regular visitations
of the people, year after year, in health and in sickness. They visi-
ted and sustained by their influence the parochial schools of the
church, as long as they were continued ; and twice each week paid
them special visits to explain the Catechism ; to indoctrinate them
in the principles of Christian religion and of the Lutheran faith.
Besides all this, they gathered on Sunday afternoon, the young of
the congregation into the church, and explained in familiar dis-
course, like fathers to their children, the doctrines and duties of
our holy religion ; and it is one of the pleasant recollections of my
very early years, to behold the respected pastor walking amid,
and instructing these Lambs of the fold ; and many fragments of the
beautiful hymns of our church in the language of the Fatherland,
used on those occasions still linger in my memory, and awaken reli-
gious emotions. These young disciples were subsequently gathered
into classes of catechumens, and after additional instruction, intro-
duced into the full communion of the church ; and by their faithful
and assiduous labors, watered with many prayers and tears, the
seeds of piety sown in their hearts grew up, some sooner, others la-
ter, for the honor of God, and their own joy and rejoicing in the
Nor were their labors merely confined to the city, where in con-
sequence of the size of the congregation they had enough to do ;
they visited the neighboring towns of Columbia and Strasburg, and
the surrounding country, and preached to them "the unsearchable
riches of Christ." Thus did they strive to commend themselves to
every man's conscience in the sight of God ; and God added his
blessing to their efibrts, his Spirit gave the increase, and many
thousands of souls, during the last hundred years, have been
gathered into the fold on earth, and many transferred to the re-
wards of a better world.
But they did not neglect the external prosperity of the congrega-
tion. The payment of the just debts, the support of the pastor and
teacher, the poor of the congregation, the erection of the necessary
church buildings, cleansing, repair, and necessary attention to them,
providing a house for the pastor — these, were some of the objects
which claimed their attention. Here too they saw the success of
their labors ; for at varied times, to suit the increasing wants of the
church, they erected first in 1734, the small stone church in the
Centenary Jubilee. 37
grave-yard, long since destroyed, then this structure as it formerly
stood, then the graceful tower and steeple, then this renovated and
magnificent temple for the worship of the God of their fathers, arid
through all these diflSculties, in hard times, with an expenditure of
upwards of $50,000, they successfully carried, by their prudence
and their patience, the people whom they served, so that at the
present time, at the close of this centennial period, you can assert,
with gratitude to God, we will soon be able to say that, which but
for the unexpected troubles of the times, we expected to have said
on this occasion, we are altogether free of debt.
But such an uninterrupted series of well-educated Lutheran pas-
tors, could not have been had, if the people had not desired their
services. Whilst therefore you should rejoice in the pastors you
have had, you should not forget your lay-ancestors, who faithfully
co-operated with them to bring to pass the present favorable results.
"Like priest, like people, " is true both ways; an ignorant un-
Lutheran, or corrupt people will also have pastors to suit them-
selves. You should therefore rejoice that your ancestors were not
such. They selected their own pastors, and the character of those
you have had during the century that has passed, does credit to
their Christian character, and sound judgment. They also after
his election, attended faithfully upon his ministrations, aided him in
his plans for their improvement, served as officers in the vestry,
contributed liberally to his support and to defray the necessary as
well as the extraordinary expenses of the congregation, and gave
their services for the promotion of its welfare, when called upon.
These nolle hearted Christian men should not he forgotten in the
Lest you may however suppose me too much disposed to praise,
it must be added by way of caution, that our forefathers were not
angels, nor were they altogether free from difficulties and trials, in
their spiritual or external history. Pastors and people were with
all their good qualities, "men of like passions with ourselves," and
were themselves conscious of coming short in the discharge of their
duties. Some failed to improve the blessings of the gospel ; some
created difficulty in the vestry, some in the congregation ; some de-
serted the principles of their fathers, whilst others "made shipwreck
of their faith;" some refused to contribute at all, and others to the
extent of their ability, in the noble objects in which their pastor and
fellow Christians were engaged. There were congregational diffi-
culties, anterior to 1761, as you heard this morning, they nearly
S8 Centenary Jubilee.
lost their t;linrcli by the artifices of a man of corrupt principles, and
subsequently, after the commencement of the second quarter of the
present century, a few dissatisfied members withdrew, in conse-
quence of the introduction of the English language ; yet with these
trifling exceptions, and with those charitable allowances for human
infirmity, which universally characterize the actions of men, you
may be justly thankful for the continued peace, good order, and
harmony between pastor and people, which have constantly pre-
vailed, and with the sweet singer of Israel may say : "Walk about
Zion and go round about her, tell the towers thereof."
The latter part of these verses, furnishes us with the practical
improvement of the whole subject. We are to walk about Zion ;
that we may tell it to the generation following for their edification.
The present generation is to instruct the rising one, in the same
principles they profess, that they be qualified to be worthy suc-
cessors of their fathers, when they themselves shall sleep in the
dust. And after having been instructed, as you have been this day,
and whilst standing amidst these noble monuments of the Christian
character and fidelity to the trust committed to them of your ances-
tors, what is your duty ? Are you to tarnish the fair heritage, to which
by your birth you are entitled, by being degenerate sons of worthy
parents, and thus to bring down upon yourselves the displeasure
•of that God, who justly visits with the severest chastisements, those
■who having exalted privileges, and honored Christian parents, and
■careful Christian instruction, fail to make the proper improvement ?
Or is it your duty to imitate the same example of faith and patience
which they have left behind — to follow them as they followed Christ ?
Plainly the latter. You are to be Christians as they were ; firmly
attached to the same faith as developed by the noble band of Re-
formers and Confessors of our church, sincerely concerned to pro-
mote the spiritual and temporal welfare of this honored congre-
gation to which you belong. Think not that they did every thing,
and that nothing is left for you to do ; there is much more justly
expected of you, because you have had more favorable opportunities
and live in an age of still greater light ; and still greater advances
ure yet to be made. Your ancestry and your present associations,
with all the glorious memories of the past crowding up before you,
call loudly upon you, not to be inferior but superior to them,
Oladly avail yourselves of the enthusiasm, kindled by the services
and recollections of this day, to determine by the grace of God "to
walk worthy of the vocation by which ye are called." Have you
Centenary Jubilee, 3^
been remiss heretofore, determine to be so no more ; have yon been
in some measure faithful, resolve to be increasingly so in all sub-
sequent times. A double obligation rests upon you all. The indi-
vidual who does not feel his patriotism enkindled on such battle
fields as Marathon or Platsea, or Lexington and Bunker's Hill, where
the brave have fought, whether successfully or unsuccessfully mat-
ters not, against the attack of invading foes, in behalf of the rights
of man ; or when standing amid the mighty monuments which their
genius and perseverance have reared ; or does not feel his piety
grow warmer on the hallowed ground where Christian martyrs
heroically met with their fate, or by the contemplation of their glo-
rious principles or conduct in any other situation, has reached a low
stage of moral deterioration. Such a man ought to he shunned^
But we are persuaded better things of you. Make therefore God as
he is revealed in his word and in his Son, the object of your supreme
love, unlimited confidence, and constant imitation. "He who has
made his refuge God, has found a most secure abode." As your
fathers imitated Christ, so follow them, in the cultivation of the same
intelligent Christian faith, the same love for a holy life, the same
practical benevolence, the same devoted attachment to the distin-
guishing features of your own beloved Zion, the same desire for the
regular services and Christian order of our sanctuaries, the same
zeal for an educated Christian Lutheran ministry and an educa-
ted Christian people, the same activity in promoting the spiritual
and temporal welfare of the church, the same care and obedience
to those who minister to you in holy things, the same charity to-
wards Christians of sister denominations which your fathers mani-
fested, for which you praise them this day, and for which they will
be held in everlasting remembrance. Let your resolve be that of
David : "If I forget thee, Jerusalem, let my right hand forget
her cunning, and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth." Give
up your life in her behalf — her faith never.
For in the last place, joy and sorrow are twin sisters — they suc-
ceed each other in this world, like the alternation of sunshine and
shadow, light and darkness. This day reminds us of the dead of
a hundred years. How many of the gray-haired fathers, whose
faces greeted us so kindly ten years ago, when first we left this
place to labor for our beloved Zion in another sphere, are now num-
bered with the dead. Here, there, a place is vacant ; they sleep
their last sleep in the cemetry, you yourselves have bought, laid
out and beautified, near Woodward Hill. The dead of the last
40 Centenary Jubilee.
twenty-five — the dead of a hundred years — all, so many thousands
who once worshipped here, gone the "way of all the earth." —
Another hundred years — and we too will sleep in the dust with
them. Men come and go like the leaves of spring and autumn.
Yet they shall rise again. That you and your children may par-
take of the resurrection of the just — this is the object for which
this temple was reared. These are types of the heavenly Jerusa-
lem, with its golden pavement and gates of pearl. We are to ad-
mire the earthly Zion ; but on the wings of sanctified Christian
imagination, from the mount of contemplation, we should survey
the battlements of the house of God above, which not made with
hands is eternal in the heavens. There God is manifested in still
greater glory, even as the sun when he shineth in his strength.
"The glory of the terrestrial is one, the glory of the celestial is
another." The Lamb is in the midst thereof. There those lost on
earth for a brief period, will be recovered forever. Animated by such
hopes, impelled by such motives, guided by such principles, as the
word of God imparts, let us cheerfully go forward with the exultant
language of David on our lips and in our hearts — for this is our
strength : *'Walk about Zion, and go round about her ; tell the
towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces ;
that ye may tell it to the generation following. For this God is
our God forever and ever : he will be our guide even unto death."
OF THE HISTORY OF
The Ev. Luth. CHmCH of the HOLY TRINITY, and its PASTORS,
FROM A. D. 1761—1861.
On the first of January 1761 the congregation resolved to pur-
chase the lot on Duke street, near the old church, in order to erect
a new building large enough to meet the wants of the increasing
membership. On the seventh of the same month, the lot having
been purchased, they agreed to open a subscription at once, the
members pledging themselves to pay the sums subscribed, on or
before August 1, 1761. The old subscription list contains almost
four hundred names, and opens with a subscription of £100 Penn-
sylvania currency by one, and five of .£50 by five other elders. The
ceremonies connected with the laying of the corner-stone, May 18,
1761, have already been fully and satisfactorily described in the
interesting historical discourse of Rev. Dr. C. F. Schaefier.
The work advanced slowly but steadily, the congregation con-
tinuing to worship in the old church which had been consecrated in
1738, and was not taken down until some years after the opening
of the present edifice. It has been described to us by a nonagena-
rian patriarch, who still worships with us, and he distinctly recollects
that the bells on the shaking steeple of the old building in the grave-
yard were rung for the services of the new church, long before the
latter was supplied with a tower and bells. We could not ascertain
at what time the old church was taken down.
Jan. 1, 1765, the congregation resolved that the work on the new
building should be vigorously carried on during that year, and be
fitted for actual use as soon as possible. The four elders, Adam
Simon Kuhn, Michael Gross, Bernhard Hubley, and Lewis Lauman
were instructed to borrow a sum of money, not exceeding £1000
Pa. Currency, on their own credit, and the officers and members of
the congregation pledged themselves to provide for the payment of
the principal and interest out of the income of the church. They
also resolved that if any member should die or remove from the con-
gregation, such an one or his heirs were to be released from this ob-
ligation ; and that if any one of the four responsible elders should
die or remove, the remaining elders, deacons and members agreed
that he or his heirs and executors should be exonerated from the
fourth part of the money borrowed, and that the whole sum should
be made up by the subscribers to the agreement.
On Jan. 4, 1765, it was also resolved by the church-council, that
in future their meetings should be held on the first day of every
month, unless it should be a Saturday or Sunday, and then it Avas
to take place on the following Monday, at the hour published from
We have before us an old letter, dated Feb. 27, 1766, signed by
Rev. Mr. Gerock, and the church-ofiicers, and addressed to Rev.
Dr. H. M. Muhlenberg, in which they inform him that the work in
which they had been engaged for so many years has almost been
completed, and that they expect to dedicate it to Almighty God on
the first Sunday of the month of May of that year. They cordially
invite him and all the other regularly ordained Lutheran ministers
of Pennsylvania and New-York, each one to be accompanied by one
or two elders or deacons. They also request that this should be
published in the congregations three or four weeks before the dedi-
cation, so that other friends of the Lancaster congregation might
make arrangements to be present on that interesting occasion.
Previous to the dedication of the new church, the church-council
also resolved, April 30, 1766, that in future no minister should be
permitted to preach in the church, administer the sacraments, or
perform any other services, except he be regularly called, and
acknowledged as an Evang. Lutheran minister, by some Evangel.
Luth, Consistory or Ministerium of Germany, Sweden, or some
other Lutheran country, and also be in connection with the present
Rev. Ministerium of Pennsylvania. This agreement has the signa-
tures of Rev. Gerock, and the ofiicers of the church, and was doubt-
less intended to protect the congregation against the dangers and
distractions from which it had greatly suffered before Mr. Gerock's
The time fixed for the dedication of the new church of the Holy
Trinity at last arrived. On Saturday afternoon, May 3, 1766, the
church-oflBcers, (whose names are given in the note on page 22)
together with Rev. J. S. Gerock, and Dr. II. M. Muhlenberg
met, and agreed upon the following programme :
— 43 —
1. To-morrow, at 9 A. M., May 4, being the Sunday Rogate,
the invited ministers and deputies of the united congregations will
meet in the School-house.
2. At 10 o'clock they will form a procession and go to the new
church, in the following order : a. the Schoolmaster, Mr. Jacob
Loeser, accompanied by all the children that attend his school ; b.
the Deacons of the Lancaster congregation, bearing the vasa sacra,
or sacred vessels used in the administration of the Holy Sacraments
of Baptism and the Lord's Supper : c, then the Ministers ; d. and
after these the Elders and Trustees of the Lancaster congregation,
and the deputies of the united congregations.
3. In the chmxh of the Holy Trinity the ministers will occupy
the space within the railing that encircles the altar, and the church-
officers of the congregation, and the representatives of the united
congregations will stand, forming a semi-circle, on the outside of
4. Then a. the Rev. H. M. Muhlenberg will open the service by
reading Psalm 100; b. the Choir, instructed and directed by Mr.
Henry Stiegel, will sing the first verse of the hymn : "Komm hei-
liger Geist, Herre Gott, erfuell mit deiner Gnade Gut," accom-
panied by instrumental music ; c. Rev. Mr. Gerock, as the pastor of
the church, will then deliver the "declaration" in regard to the
church, for what purpose, by the blessing of God, it has been built,
designed, and is to be used. Then the choir will sing the second
verse of the foregoing hymn.
5. After these one after the other of the pastors present will re-
peat a passage of Holy Scripture, appropriate to the consecration
of the whole and its parts, as follows :
a. Rev. H. M. Muhlenberg, one referring to the Church in general, 2 Chron. 6 : 20.
b. " Gerock, to the pastor and pulpit.
c. " Stoevcr, to baptism and the baptismal font.
d. " Kurtz, Sen., to the Lord's Supper and altar.
e. " Schaum, to the Church-Council.
f. " Kurtz, Jun., to the members, i. e. parents and children,
g. " Krug, to the School and "Kinderlehre."
i. " Buskerk, to the King and all our rulers.
After these passages have been pronounced,
6. Rev. H. M. Muhlenberg is to close with a short prayer, all
7. After the choir has sung the third verse of the former hymn,
Rev. Gerock is to return thanks to all the friends and benefactors
of the congregation.
— 44 —
8. And the whole congregation shall then sing the fifth verse of
the hymn: "Sei Lob und Ehr dem hoechsten Gut."
9. This shall be followed by the performance of a select piece of
church music, specially arranged and prepared for this occasion, at
the request of the church-council, by Mr. Stiegel.
10. Rev. H. M. Muhlenberg shall then, at the request of Rev.
Gerock and the church-council, deliver the morning sermon, and
Rev. Gerock one in the afternoon, each sermon being preceded and
followed by music. Rev. Mr. Gerock shall pronounce the benedic-
tion at the close of the morning service. In the evening the Eng-
lish Missionary of the Episcopal Church, Mr. Barton, will deliver a
discourse, preceded and followed by music.
11. Monday forenoon. May 5th, Rev. Mr. Stoever will preach,
12. Rev. Mr Krug in the afternoon.
At 9 o'clock, May 4, 1766, the following assembled at the
1. The entire church-council of the Church of the Holy Trinity.
2 Rev« H. M. Muhlenberg, and deputies of the Philadelphia congregation.
3, " Nicholas Kurtz, " ♦' " Tulpehocken "
4. " Stoever, " " " Lebanon "
5, " Schaum, " " " Berks County
6. " Kurtz, Jr., " " " Earltown
7« " Krug, " " " Reading
8. Diaconus Van Buskerk, " " " Germantown "
9. Deputies of the vacant congregation at Yorktown.
10. The English minister, Rev. Mr. Barton, who preached in tlie evening, on Psalm
84 : 2, 3,
a. The morning sermon, on the Sunday Rogate was preached from
the words Exod, 20 : 24 : "In all places where I record my name, &c.
b. The afternoon sermon on John 13 : 34, 35, "iV new com-
c. On Monday morning the text was Ezra 3: 11, 12.
d. On Monday afternoon, 1 Tim. 1 : 15.
The musical selections had been printed for distribution, so that
all were able to follow the choir during the performances of both
Dr. Muhlenberg, at the request of the oflficers of the church, re-
corded the above interesting particulars, in the church book, April
16, 1768, and closes the account with an affectionate and earnest
appeal to the future generations for whose satisfaction and informa-
tion he wrote.
— 45 —
We are informed by the Rev. Mr. Gerock, that the handsome
sum of £137 was collected during these consecration services.
The new edifice was 80 feet long and 60 wide. The tower was built
a number of years afterwards, during the pastorate of Rev. Dr. G. H.
E. Muhlenberg. With the exception of the tower, tlie pulpit-recess,
the southern extension enclosing the tower on the east and west, and
the removal of the principal door from the centre of the front on Duke
street to the addition on the south-east corner, the building, as
shown in the lithograph inserted in this volume, is the same as that
on which the fathers looked on the day of dedication. Two sand-
stone tablets containing the name of the church, and the date of
its foundation, the one in Latin, and the other in German, still oc-
cupy their old places, on either side of the centre upper window of
the front ; the German being : ZUR EHRE DER H. H. DRBY-
EINIGKEIT 1ST DIESE EVANGEL. KIRCHE ERBAUET
AC. 17G1; and the Latin: HOC TEMPLUM SS TRINITATI
ECCLESIA EVANGELICA SACRAT. AD MDCCLXL
The pulpit was on the eastern side of the church, directly oppo-
site the front door. The church was supplied with deep galleries
on three sides, and it is probable that the organ of the old church
for some time occupied a place in the new building. The aisles
were paved with brick, and furnaces and stoves were an un-
known luxury at that day. Many years afterwards Mr. Coleman
presented a large wood-stove, and then the frequenters of Trinity for
the first time rejoiced in a tolerably comfortable church. It is not
unlikely, however, that some supplied their pews with hot bricks or
some other convenience, to warm their feet, while the preacher was
endeavoring to warm their hearts. A stone font, fragments of
which still remain, occupied an appropriate place near the pulpit,
and two large square pews, with curtains, were specially set apart, one
for the pastor, and the other for the cflScers of the church. In
those days the males and females occupied difi"erent pews, and the
children were under the special guardianship of the sexton.
It also appears from the church records, kept by Rev. J. S. Gerock,
that children, were as a general thing, baptized in church, and the
administration of the ordinance in private houses was exceptional.
Mr. Gerock also remarks at the beginning of the marriage re-
gister, that persons were united in the bonds of holy matrimony
after three public proclamations, in' the church, of the intended
marriage ; and it is likewise evident from some lines at the head
— 46 —
of the record of burials, that it was a general custom to bury the de-
parted on the day after their death.
After the opening of the new church, Mr. Gerock faithfully con-
tinued his labors, until the spring of the following year, when he
received and accepted a unanimous call from the German Lutheran
congregation in the city of New-York.
On the fourth Sunday in Lent, March 29, 1767, he preached his
farewell sermon, and on the following day wrote a testimonial,
which is recorded in the church-book, attested by Dr. H. M. Muh-
lenberg and Jacob Loeser, and in which he gratefully acknowledges
the many acts of kindness of the congregation during the fourteen
years of his residence among them ; and also states that they regu-
larly and punctually paid the promised sum of £60 Pennsylvania
Currency. He makes special mention of the friendly co-operation
of the officers of the church, especially during the arduous labors
connected with the erection of the new church. lie parted from
the congregation with many earnest prayers for their temporal and
The officers of the church also passed appropriate resolutions,
which are here presented as an interesting specimen of the manner
in which such things were done at that day. The testimonial is re-
corded in English, as follows :
"Tlie Reverend John Siegfried Gerock, A. M., late minister of the German Evanore-
lical Lutheran Church in the borough of Lancaster, in the Province of Pennsylvania,
having resigned the pastoral charge of said church, favoured with the benefit of his
pious labors for 14 years, and accepted a call from a Corporation in the City of New-
We, the Vestry and Wardens of the Church aforesaid, ever desirous to evince the sense
we have of merit, and with hearts sincerely warmed with affection and every good wish
for our late worthy pastor, beg leave to testify — that Mr, Gerock, during the course of
holy vocation amongst us, led a life becoming a minister and servant of Christ, — in the
sacred duties of his office, he was zealous, faithful, diligent and devout, — in liis princi-
ples and doctrine, sound and orthodox, in his morals, exemplary; and in Iiis whole con.
duct and conversation, inoffensive and disrreet.
Tho' the relation, which so long happily subsisted between him and us, is now dis-
solved, yet our friendships are still united, and our best regards and esteem will ever
follow him. Persuaded as we are, that he will be led by the goodness of his own heart
to persevere thro' life in the glorious work of promoting religion and virtue, we pray
that Almighty (»od may long continue him a iiappy instrument in advancing the blessc d
Jungdom of the Messiah in general, and in doing much good among the people to whom
lie now stands related in particular !
This Testimonial of our good opinion of, and good wishes for the Rev. Mr. Gerock,
we have the pleasure to grant him freely ; firmly believing, tiiat we recommend a gen-
— 47 —
tleman, whose merit entitles him not only to our, but to the esteem and favor of the
Signed in behalf of ourselves and the congregation we represent in Trinity Cliureh, in
the Borough of Lancaster, March 31, 1767."
In June of the same year the church-council sent two elders,
Messrs. Bernard Hublej, and Lewis Lauman, to Philadelphia, to
invite Rev. Dr. H. M. Muhlenberg to visit the vacant congregation
at Lancaster, and he arrived on the 24th of that month. On the
27th the council adopted the following resolutions :
1. That the Lancaster congregation should in future stand in connection with the
Philadelphia, and the rest of the united congregations. 2. The church-council dci-m
it necessary and advisable to ask the United Evangelical Ministerium in Philadelphia to
supply them with a pastor. 3. Said Ministerium is requested to write for a pastor 1o
the Rev, Fathers in Europe, and after his arrival, the Ministerium and the church-coun-
cil of the Lancaster congregation will determine, whether the new comer, or some one
of the present members of the Ministerium who would be more familiar with the state
of things in this country, v/ould be best adapted to tliis congregation. 4. It will be
necessary for the respective members of the Ministerium to visit and supply tiie congre-
gation in the mean time.
On July 1, these resolutions were laid before the congregation,
On the 4th of July the church-council adopted the following call :
"To the Rev. pastors of the United Evang. Congregations in Philadelphia, Provi
dence, Hanover, Slc, Revds. Dr. Wrangel, Henry Muhlenberg, Emmanuel Schultz, and
others, as well as the honorable and beloved members of the St, Michael's Corporation
We, the undersigned, for the time being elders and deacons of the associated congre.
g'ation in and around the city of Lancaster in Pennsylvania, worshipping in the Church
of the Holy Trinity, herewith send our heartfelt greeting, and desire to communicate
the intelligence, that our large congregation, is at present vacant, and deprived of the
eervices of a regular pastor. And as it is our conscientious duty, as the ruling officers
and representatives of said congregation to see to it, that the congregation be not neg-
lectcd, but, by the grace of (iod, supplied, as soon as possible, with a pastor, who shall
cherish in his heart, and set forth in his walk and conversation, as an example to the
flock, the saving Evangelical doctrine, according to the foundation of the apostles and
prophets, and in accordance with the unaltered Augsburg Confession and the rest of the
Symbolical books of our mother-church, who shall be regularly examined, ordained, and
supplied with satisfactory testimonials by some Rev. Consistory or Ministerium of our
church; vt ho shall also be possessed of the graces and gifts which will enable him to
edify our congregation by his doctrme and life, and especially thoroughly to instruct
our numerous youth, in our Evangelical doctrine; and one who will be a peaceable and
useful member of the Ministerium.
And as the Rev. members of the Ministerium know, by experience, that new minis
ters, who come over from the mother-chureh in Europe, although they may posses- a
considerable amount of theological knowledge, qualifications for the office, and good in-
tentions, would nevertheless be exposed to many trials and difficulties, if they should at
once be sent to a field of labor as important and extensive as that of Lancaster, where
they would be far removed from their older brethren of the Ministerium, and surrounded
and sorely tried by many different religious parties ; Therefore we and the congregation
— 48 —
unite in earnestly requesting j^ourRev. .VI inisterium and the Corporation in Philadelphia,
for the sake of Jesus Christ and his sheep and lambs so dearly purchased with his
blood, with all possible haste, to send a regular call, for a minister and pastor suitable
for our congregations, to the venerated and long-tried benefactors, fathers and teachers
of our mother-church in Europe, particularly the Rev. Court-chaplain at the Court of
St. James, in London, and the Senior of the Theological Faculty of the Frederick Uni-
versity at Halle, in Saxony, and earnestly request and urge them, with the gracious aid
of God, to call, examine, ordain, and furnish with the necessary testimonials, such a
minister for our united congregations in general.
We on our part promise, in the name of our congregation, that the pastor who may
be appointed for this place, shall receive for himself and family, a healthy, suitable and
free parsonage, kitclicn-garden and the requisite stabling, ten cords of wood annually,
£25 Pa. currency every quarter, and all the perquisites customary here.
And inasmuch as we are anxious for the promotion of the good of our church in
general, it is our request, that as soon as the newly called pastor shall have arrived, the
united Rev. Alinisterium, or a Committee of the same, as well as a Committee of St,
Michael's Corporation in Philadelphia, should meet with the church-council of Lancas-
ter, iind impartially and carefully deliberate and decide, as in the presence of God,
whether it would be best to station the new comer, or some one of the more experienced
ministers at present connected with the Ministerium, at Lancaster, and in the latter
case, place the new comer in the vacancy thus created, as it is the object of the union
to promote the good of the whole and its parts.
In conclusion we would pray the Rev. Ministerium to advocate this our petition, and
also in the mean time to visit our congregation, for the purpose of supplying it with the
means of grace."
This document is signed by the officers of the church, and it is
evident that the successive steps taken at this time by the congre-
gation, were suggested and approved by Dr. Muhlenberg, -who was
in their midst.
Muhlenberg and his associates were at that time very anxious to
secure new laborers from Europe. The congregation at Philadel-
phia deemed it necessary to appoint a third psistor ; Barren Hill,
and the congregations on the Raritan, in New Jersey, were also to
be supplied ; so that with Lancaster, at least four pastors were re-
quired for the American field. The American laborers sent repeat-
ed and earnest appeals to London and Halle, and their European
friends were equally anxious to supply the destitution. Neverthe-
less the arrival of the new laborers was delayed until April 17G9,
and during this interval of two years Muhlenberg, Em. Schultz, and
others visited the Lancaster congregation as often as possible. It
was at this time that Muhlenberg, who had often before proved him-
self a faithful friend to this concrreiJ-ation, was instrumental in intro-
. . . •
ducing the constitution or form of church discipline, by which it is
Dr. Muhlenberg felt the Avant of a scriptural discipline in his own
congregation, and in connection with the Swedish provost, Dr. Wran-
— 49 —
gel, Rev. Handschuh, his colleague, and the officers of the Philadel-
phia congregation, carefully prepared a form of church government,
and on the 18th Oct. 1762 presented it to that congregation, by
which it was adopted. It is published in full in the "Halle Reports"
pp. 962 — 971. During one of his visits to Lancaster he recommend-
ed and secured the adoption of the same.
In the Spring of 1769 the long expected laborers arrived, and we
proceed to give some account of the one who was stationed at Lan-
J. H. C. HELMUTH, T). D.
A. D. 17G9~lli9.
Just Henry Christian Helmutii was born at Helmstaedt, in
the Duchy of Brunswick, in the year 1745. His father died when
he was yet a boy. He immediately left home without the knowl-
edge of any of the family, and was overtaken on the highway by a
nobleman in his carriage, who entered into a conversation with him,
and inquired whither he was going. He informed him that he
had left home, because he was angry with God, having prayed earn-
estly to him during his father's illness, for his restoration to health,
but God had not answered his petition. Interested in the artless
reply of the innocent boy, and commiserating his sad condition, the
nobleman took him into the carriage, and afterwards sent him to
Halle at his expense, to be educated. He was in the fourteenth year
of his age when he entered the Orphan House, and after having pass-
ed over the prescribed course of study, he became a member of the
AVhen the request for a preacher came from America, Dr. Franke
at once thought of young Helmuth, who was then twenty-four years
of age, and engaged as a preceptor in the Orphan School. The fa-
culty at Halle had been most favorably impressed with the first at-
tempts of young Helmuth at preaching. His first sermon was de-
livered in the Hall of the Orphan House, and the celebrated Bogatz-
ky, author of the "Golden Treasury," was present, sitting in an al-
cove under the pulpit, concealed from the notice of the preacher. —
After the exercise, Bogatzky expressed his approbation of the per-
formance. When the call to this Western world was first presented
to Helmuth, he hesitated in reference to its acceptance ; but his
doubts were removed, the path of duty became clear, and he felt
— 50 —
that if he refased the invitation, he would do violence to conscience,
and resist the will of God.
Like his predecessors, he was ordained by the Consistorium at
Wernigerode, and after making a visit to his widowed mother, at
Hannover, he journeyed to England, whence he embarked for this
country. He reached Philadelphia in the Spring of 1769, accom-
panied by his friend John I. Schmidt, and they were kindly receiv-
ed by Dr. H. M. Muhlenberg. Schmidt was appointed third pastor
in the Philadelphia congregation, and subsequently was stationed at
Germantown. Dr. H. M. Muhlenberg as soon as possible took Mr.
Helmuth to Lancaster, and although greatly fatigued by the long
journey, the young preacher delivered a sermon on the following
day, being the fifth Sunday after Easter, on Ezek. 18 : 32, his theme
being "God's earnest desire for the salvation of sinners." Dr. Muh-
lenberg states that it was a thorough and edifying discourse, and
gave great satisfaction to the congregation. He also preached on
the following Sundays and festivals, and catechized the children.
As the congregation seemed to be satisfied with his gift for preach-
ing and catechization, a meeting of the Church council was held on
the 17th May, Dr. Muhlenberg being present, at which it was re-
solved, that a call should be given to Mr. Helmuth, and that the
congregation should be informed of this action on the following
On Sunday morning, May 21, 1769, Dr. Muhlenberg preached
on the Gospel for the day, and then published the resolution of the
Church council as follows : "I wish to inform the congregation of
the action of the church council, at the meeting on last Wednesday.
1. Inasmuch as this congregation was deprived of its pastor about
two years ago, and the church-council, with the knowledge and con-
sent of the congregation, applied to our Ministerium to request the
reverend Fathers in Europe to send more laborers to this country,
and by the favor of God two additional ministers have now been
sent to us, and one of them, the Rev. Mr. Helmuth, has preached
before the congregation, and we have understood that the elders
and deacons, and the regular members of this congregation are
pleased with Mr. Helmuth's Evangelical doctrine, distinct delivery,
edifying walk, and admirable gift for catechisation ; and as the
church-council is anxious that the congregation should be supplied
with a regular pastor, the preaching of the blessed gospel, the in-
struction of the young, the holy sacraments, pastoral visitation, &c.,
therefore the church-council, after careful deliberation, unanimously
— 51 —
resolved, with the consent of the regdar members of this congrega-
tion, to give a call to the Rev. Mr. Helmuth, with the understand-
ing, that inasmuch as Mr. H. is not jet familiar with the state of
the country and congregation, one of the elder members of the
Ministerium, either Muhlenberg or Schulze, is to serve the con-
gregation in connection with him — as long as this may be deemed
The second item referred to the parsonage.
3. "And in order that this old and large congregation, which
has passed through so many conflicts, may be reduced to better
order and quietness, the church-council, as the representatives of
the congregation, will prepare rules and regulations, in accordance
with the principles of our Evangelical church, so that the pastors >
trustees, elders, deacons, and members of the congregation may
know their rights and duties."
The fourth point referred to the treasury, building fund, &c.
He closed by calling upon all the members who were satisfied
with the action of the council, to say, in their hearts, "Yea and
Amen, so let it be !" and to pray for God's blessing upon it. Thooe
who were dissatisfied, or could propose something better, were in-
vited to present themselves before him and a committee of the
church-council, who would sit in the school-house on the followino-
morning, from 8 — 12, to hear such modest protest or opinion.
Dr. Muhlenberg waited during the prescribed time on the next
day, but no one came ; and he spent the time very pleasantly in ex-
amining the children of the parish school, numbering about 50. In
the afternoon he set out on his return to Philadelphia.
Mr. Helmuth removed to Lancaster at Whitsuntide 1769, and at
once began his pastoral labors with the zeal and energy that dis-
tinguished his ministerial career in Lancaster and Philadelphia.
When he arrived he found a debt of £1000, Pennsylvania cur-
rency, which had been incurred in the erection of the church. Two
years afterwards he was able to report a reduction of X500 by
means of the pew money, and collections, and takes occasion to
praise the congregation for depending upon its own resources, with-
out applying to others for pecuniary aid. In the spring of 1771
he expressed the hope, that they would be able to pay the remain-
der of the debt during the next spring.
Many members had long expressed a wish to substitute a larger
and better organ for the old one, and after the subject had been
considered by the church-council, it was laid before the congregation
— 52 —
July 1771, whicli resolved that the church-officers should at once open
a subscription. The members were so liberal, that on the 2d of
September the church-council appointed Messrs. Simon Adam Kuhn,
Louis Lauman, Michael Hubley and Rev. M. Helmuth a committee
to superintend the building of an organ, which was to contain 20
stops. The old subscription list contains 321 names, and sums
from £25 to a few shillings.
The church-officers co-operated with each other and the pastor,
and gave him ail the help he required. He preached every Sunday
forenoon and afternoon ; and the latter service was succeeded by
"Kinderlehre" or the catechetical instruction of the young by the
pastor. Sometimes this exercise took the plaee of the sermon.
From 200 — 300 young people attended this service. At five
o'clock, after "Kinderlehre," he invited those children who wished
to come, (for he never constrained any to come, he tells us) to meet
him in the school-house, where he would read to them several short
and edifying biographies of pious children, or extracts from some
other good book ; and he found that it had a good effect. He tells
us, that in this way he succeeded in keeping them from the street,
where temptations abound, and they are in danger of losing all
that they had heard during the day. In the evening there was
another sermon. He also preached regularly on Thursday evening,
and devoted the rest of his time to visiting the school, the sick and
In describing the spiritual state of the congregation at this time,
he admits that some ha<l a saving knowledge of Christ, but tliat
very many were ignorant of true conversion. "Some," he says,
*'when Jesus calls, disturbs, and awakens, are not walling to believe
that it is He, but are disposed to look upon it as the work of ima-
gination, fancy, melancholy, or even of Satan, who is anxious to
rob them of their faith, when, alas they have no faith, but are im-
mersed in the deepest and most terrible unbelief. Be merciful,
God, and grant me persevering favthfalness and wisdom !"
About this time he and a neighboring German Reformed pastor
came to the conclusion that it would greatly edify the congregations
and encourage pastors, if tlie latter would meet more frequently ;
and they resolved to suggest to their respective Synods the pro-
priety of recommending quarterly conferences of pastors living near
each other, and that these conferences sliould differ from the Synodi-
cal meetings, by being devoted more particularly to edification and
— 53 — • ■
The Synod of Pennsylvania met Sept. 2B, 1771, and Mr. Hel-
muth proposed the introduction of such conferences. The Synod
at once acted upon the suggestion, and specified what brethren
should constitute sach conferences, and that the pastor in whose
congregation the conference should meet, was to keep a record of
the proceedings, and transmit a copy to the President of the Synod^
so that it might be read to that body.
Mr. Helrauth mentions Revds. Kurtz, sen., Kurtz, jr., Krug,
Wildbahn, Enderlein and Frederick Muhlenberg, as residing nearest
to him, and they all, (with the exception of Mr. Krug, who was ill,)
held their first conference meeting in the village of New-Holland,
where the younger Kurtz was stationed. They found the conference
very pleasant and edifying, and resolved to meet in Lancaster, on
the 2d of Feb. 1772, and together to celebrate the Lord's Supper.
The pastor at New-Holland recorded the proceedings, and sent thero
to the President, Rev. H. M. Muhlenberg.
The congregation continued to prosper, in temporal and spiritual
things, and the pastor gratefully refers to many acts of kindness on
the part of his people. In a letter to Dr. Ziegenhagen, dated Oct.
1772, he states that every four or five weeks he wa.'^ in the habit of
paying a visit to a small town called Middletown, about 25 miles
from Lancaster, and that his labors appeared to be blessed to the
people there. He revived the parish school there ; and appointed
the schoolmaster, who was a pious man, to hold service twice every
Sunday, reading a chapter from Arndt's True Christianity in the
morning, and catechizing the children in the afternoon. This was
kept up with great regularity during the entire summer, and few
failed to attend both morninor and afternoon.
The attendance upon his services at Lancaster constantly in-
creased, and many members of other denominations from the town
and county flocked to hear him. The efibrts of the congregation to
liquidate the debt, were also quite successful.
In the same letter he also joyfully refers to a general awakening
among his people. In order that he might become more fully ac-
quainted with the spiritual state of his members, he invited them to
call upon him daily from 8-12 o'clock, A. M., during fourteen days
before each communion, and then conversed with every communi-
cant. He tells us that he sometimes forsrot his meals ; but though
exhausted in body, he rejoieed in spirit.
But he soon discovered that whenever the Lord builds a churchy,
the devil is sure to build a chapel beside it. Although an excellent
_ 54 —
form of cliurcli government and discipline had been introduced into
the congregation through the instrumentality of Dr. H. M. Muhlen-
berg, Mr. Helmuth found a diificulty in enforcing it as fully as he
deemed necessary. He repeatedly read it to the congregation, and
appealed to it Avhenever he excluded any one from the Lord's
Supper. Finally he concluded to make an effort to induce the
members to subscribe their names to the church rules, although he
had reason to apprehend considerable opposition, inasmuch as many
were very reluctant to append their names to any such document,
fearing that they would bind themselves, and lose some of their
rights and privileges. But he determined to make the attempt,
called a meeting of the congregation, Sept. 7, 1769, and after hav-
ing explained the matter, secured about 500 signatures. On the
following Sunday he invited all who had not yet signed the rules, to
do so, at the parsonage, during the succeeding four weeks ; and at
the end of that time 1300 names had been subscribed. He per-
mitted all to sign, even those who had been refused at the table of
the Lord, in order to try them once more. At the end of the
four weeks, he called another congregational meeting, on a Wed-
nesday. He made an address, in which he described and lamented
the decline of the people in spiritual things, in such an affecting
manner, that many of the people mingled their tears with his. He
told them that they would be able more fully to realize the truth of
his statements, after learning the names of those who claimed to be
their brothers and sisters in one household of faith. He then read
aloud an alphabetical list of all the members. He closed by re-
hearsing the duties of church members, and entreated them to aid
l.im in watching over the flock, and to inform him of the trans-
gressions of church members, not from a feeling of spite or revenge,
but from love for their temporal and eternal welfare. It was also
agreed, that in future, the names of new members should be signed
on the first Wednesday of September ; and that annually, on the
first Wednesday in October, the names of all those who were living
in open sin, and who had failed to repent after private and public
admonition, by the pastor and church-council, were to be published,
and stricken from the list of members.
This action had a happy effect. Some who had absented them-
selves from the services and communion, returned, and were anxious
to be restored, as the pastor and people appeared to them to be
greatly in earnest. In several taverns in which some had been guilty
of shameful beliavioui', peace and decorum took the place of noise
and disorder, as they feared to be published in church ; and no
more was heard of gambling on Sundays, Court- and Fair-days.
In 1773 he speaks of increasing attendance. The church, ca-
pable of accommodating 1500 persons, and -which had been too
large a few years before, was now becoming too small, and they al-
ready had 50 seats less than were necessary for the membership.
In the spring of this year they also paid X400, and the interest
on the debt, and also bought a parsonage for ^450.
It had hitherto been customary to announce the celebration of
the Lord's Supper two weeks in advance. On the Sunday after
the notice, the country members remained after service, and pro-
ceeded to the school-house, where they gave their names, and were
briefly addressed by the pastor. The city members handed in their
names during some afternoon of the week. It was, of course, im-
possible to converse with every individual, under these circumstan-
ces. Mr. Helmuth, seeing so many approach the table of the Lord,
without proper views or feelings, felt himself conscientiously bound
to introduce a change. He published the intended communion sea-
son /owr weeks in advance, and requested each member, from the
city and country, to call upon the pastor, on some forenoon during
these four weeks, so that he might become acquainted with every
one. Formerly it had been quite customary for the husband to
give the name of the wife, or the wife that of the husband, and for
heads of families to present the names of the children and domestics.
Some opposed the plan as soon as published; but Mr. Helmuth
was not easily alarmed or turned aside from what he conceived to
be the path of duty. The people came, as he had requested, and
he conversed with each one alone, questioning them, in a kind and
affectionate manner in regard to their spiritual state. He tells us
that sometimes an hour was devoted to one person, and sometimes
he knelt with them in prayer. He thought he perceived good fruit
resulting from this course. Some indeed, who were unwilling to
have their consciences probed, refused to come, and also manifested
their opposition in other ways. The pastor did not refuse to admit
any to the Lord's table, unless they were living in open sin. When
in these conversations he discovered that the individual before him
was content with a mere moral life, and was practically ignorant of
godly sorrow, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, he did not refuse
to admit him to communion, but simply advised him to stay away,
for the present, and to seek the Lord.
In the communion register, still in the possession of the church,
— 56 —
may be seen several lists of communicants, with Mr. Helmuth's ob-
servations opposite almost every name. The remarks attached to
the names presented for commmiion on Christmas 1772 may serve
as an interesting specimen. "Matthias Gr. and sister, dull and igno-
rant ; M. C. appears to have the beginning of good : Ann. M. L.
cannot read, and is very ignorant, but also very attentive ; Salome,
spoke to her of hunger after Christ, and directed her to the great
teacher Christ ; P. & E. endeavored to convince them that they had
no faith, and they promised to pray for it ; two persons — very ig-
norant; another — more attentive; Agnes S. the Lord knoweth her;
opposite eight names : — under the influence of the grace of Christ,
but I am somewhat doubtful after all, whether their professions are
reliable ; eight others — entreated them to ask the Lord whether
their faith was genuine ; 2 others — were deeply concerned ; another
promised to seek Jesus more earnestly, &c., &c. Similar remarks
are not added to all the lists of communicants during his pastorate.
About this time some members were in the habit of meeting, in
different houses, on two or three evenings of the week, for the pur-
pose of singing, praying, and reading a chapter of the Bible, or a
selection from Arndt's True Christianity. When the Sunday eve-
ning church service was omitted, they also met, and conversed about
the morning sermon. Sometimes from twenty to forty met in one
These proceedings gave great offence to some members of the
cono-reo-ation and others, and some of them did all they could to
annoy those who attended the meetings. On several occasions several
older and younger persons collected around the place of meeting,
and even went so far as to throw stones at the door. Those within
prudently avoided all notice of this disorderly conduct, and although
frequently sneered at in the streets, as pietists, hypocrites, &c., they
reviled not again.
Mr. lielmuth would have been glad, he tells us, if a smaller num-
ber of persons would have met in any one house. He advised them
to this effect, but did not insist upon their doing so, as he feared to
do harm. He took occasion publicly to commend such orderly and
devout gatherings, at the same time insisting, that they were utterly
worthless when attended without an earnest desire to grow in grace.
He spoke of the importance of prayer in the closet, and pointed out
the hypocrisy of public meetings and prayers, Avhen this is neglected.
Prudential considerations prevented him from attending any of these
meetings; but he made it a point to inform himself in regard to
— 57 —
their progress, suggested some of the arrangements, and earnestly
cautioned them against errors and excesses.
The Lord graciously prevented any evil results. Some indeed
went back to their old ways, but others came to him with the assu-
rance that they had been strengthened by such fellowship.
Bearing in mind the difficulties that afflicted the congregation in
Nyberg's time, and the fact that some very active members of the
council and congregation had at that time suffered considerably in
peace of mind as well as in purse, we are better prepared to under-
stand their sensitiveness and suspicion, and why some feared a repe-
tition of such disorders and divisions, and others went so far as to
circulate the report throughout the neighborhood, that Helmuth
was trying to originate a new sect.
The leaders of the opposition threatened to call the pastor to account
on the coming New Year's day, on which the annual congregational
election took place. Mr. Helmuth applied to the throne of o-race,
that he might be clothed with proper courage and wisdom for the
occasion. The great day arrived, and all proceeded to the school-
house. The election passed off as usual, and all were on the point
of retiring, as no one seemed to be bold enough to speak. Very
unexpectedly however, one of the elders, a very worthy man, rose
and said, that he understood that some were present who had made
up their minds to enter complaint, and he called upon them to speak
out now, in the right place, and not go about doing so among the
sects, and in taverns and beer-houses. For a long time no one ap-
peared willing to accept the challenge, and Mr. Helmuth, in his ac-
count of the scene, says, that he would have been glad if his well-
meaning friend had said nothing about it, as he greatly feared a
disturbance ; but the elder insisted upon their speaking out. At
last one man rose, and charged that a new sect was being establish-
ed ; that the pastor did not preach on the regular Gospel for the
day, but on other texts selected at pleasure ; that he approved of
hypocritical meetings from house to house, and affected to regard
all such persons as the only Christians in the congregation, &c.
Mr. Helmuth remained perfectly quiet during these remarks, in-
wardly praying that God would give him a harvest that day, as he
had given him so admirable an opportunity to defend his cause.
He rose, with a heart full of joy and boldness, and began by sayings
that as he perceived that the whole complaint was directed against
him, and it is no slight thing when members feel constrained pub-
licly to accuse their pastor, he regarded it as of primary importance
— 58 —
to ask counsel of God, and expressed his fears, that his accusers had
forgotten to pray, before coming hither. His heart was full, and
his mouth overflowed with fervent supplications, that God would
that day ensnare Satan in spite of all his might and craft, and bring
great good out of evil. He was greatly moved, ond many wept
with him. After prayer he kindly invited the complainants to state
their grievances. Although overthrown by one heartfelt prayer,
and very unwilling, they were constrained to speak. Mr. Helmuth
then kindly, earnestly, and unreservedly explained himself in re-
gard to all the points mentioned. The complainants, (there were
but two — who had principally caused all the troubles,) yielded to
his arguments and appeals ; and after some further exhortations,
which breathed the warmest interest in their spiritual welfare, he
closed with prayer. Enemies were ashamed, and friends rejoiced.
Slanders were silenced, and all was quiet ; and, he adds : "The
people can now meet for prayer as much as they please, and I can
preach on the Gospel lesson, or any other text, as I please, and no
one fears evil consequences. Praise be to God!"
This little storm was after all followed by some happy results.
Many strangers were drawn to his preaching, and many, he assures
us, who listened with increased carefulness and watchfulness, in or-
der to detect the new heresy, were thus unconsciously opening their
hearts to the good old gospel. His hearers now, at the close of the
service, did not engage in conversation about every day affairs, but
discussed the sermon.
About this time he also, once in five weeks, preached to a little
flock, about five miles from Lancaster. Many persons who were
greatly prejudiced against educated and salaried preachers, gathered
around him here, and heard him gladly.
In the spring of 1773 he confirmed 70 ; b^ being unmarried.
From a letter, dated May 29, 1774, it appears, that he also preached
to small gatherings of Lutherans, Baptists, Separatists and others,
ten, twelve, and fifteen miles from town, so that there was seldom
a week in which he was able to spend more than two days at home,
and then he was constantly engaged with his own people. Many
members of the surrounding sects had the highest regard for him,
and it would have been easy for him to draw many of them into his
own church, had he been willing to take advantage of their confi-
dence and love. Obliged to preach so often, almost every day, and
sometimes two or three times in one day, often too in the open air,
we are not surprised to hear him say that he did not feel as strong
— 59 —
about the chest as formerly, and that he found very little time for
study. He thought that it would probably promote his health, if
he could be removed from Lancaster, and that some other more
competent brother might accomplish more in his place. However,
he felt convinced that if God thought so, he would in his own way
and time, bring about the change.
Later in 1774 he found himself obliged to serve three other con-
gregations, fifteen or sixteen miles from Lancaster, in addition to
his own. At times he preached eleven times, and rode 100 miles
in one week. His friends urged him not to preach so often, for he
would ruin his health ; but he insisted upon working while it was day ;
yet at the same time longed after a less extensive field of labor, and
a competent successor. In a letter of the year 1775 he gives an
interesting description of the enthusiasm for the great struggle for
American Independence, which then animated all classes from New-
England to Georgia. He continued his labors, of which we have
no particular account for some years. Dr. H. M. Muhlenberg, in a
letter of Oct. 31, 1778 — speaking of the Lancaster congregation,
says, "it continues to flourish in peace, Helmuth is faithfully per-
forming his duty, and amidst his arduous labors has enjoyed the
assistance of Him, who never forsakes his faithful servants."
The following historical fact, mentioned in the 11th vol. of the
Colonial Records, as well as in a small memorandum in the hand-
writing of Dr. G. H. E. Muhlenberg, is of sufficient interest to the
members of this congregation, and to Pennsylvanians in general, to
be inserted here.
While the Supreme Executive Council met in Lancaster, its Pre-
sident, His Excellency Thomas Wharton, jun., Esq., departed
this life early on the morning of May 23, 1778. The council hav-
ing been informed of his death on the same day, they appointed
Col. Hart to join a Committee of the Hon. House of Assembly, to
conduct the funeral of his Excellency the President. They met on
Sunday, May 24, 1778, in order to attend the funeral, and set out
in due form. At the meeting of the Council, Monday, May 25,
1778, "the Hon. Col. Hart reports. That the following order ^as
adopted, the Committee appointed to superintend the funeral of
Thos. Wharton, jun., Esq., Presdt., to wit : — That the body be en-
closed in a double coffin, and interred in the Evangelical Trinity
Church in this borough, the Elders and Vestry of that Church hav-
ing politely requested that it might be there interred." Then
follows the order of the procession, after which the report says :
— 60 —
"The funeral was conducted with great decorum, and the military
in particular, had been very attentive to pay the honors due to
His Excellency's character and station."
We had frequently heard that some person had been interred
immediately in front of the old pulpit and altar, and that when the
brick pavement of the aisle was removed, the grave was disclosed ;
but no one appeared to know who it was. When the repairs were
commenced in the autumn of 1853, the removal of the floor again
brought it to light ; but nothing about the grave or in the church
records aflForded any clue to the name of the occupant.
A few days ago the writer found a small memorandum, by Dr.
Gr. H. E. Muhlenberg, in which he sets forth "Data for the grant-
ing of a lottery to the members of the Lutheran congregation at
Lancaster ;" the fifth beinsi; as follows: "The concrresration have
been from the beginning good Americans ; they have received Pre-
sident Wharton in their Church, and Gov. Mifflin on their burial
ground without any gratuity. Does not one good turn deserve
This, taken in connection with the statement in the minutes of
the Executive Council, appears to place it beyond a doubt, that
Presdt. Wharton was interred "m the Evang. Trinity Church,"
and that his remains occupy the grave in front of the old altar and
During the following year some important changes took place in
the Lutheran congregation of St. Michael's and Zion in Philadel-
phia, and on the 25th of May, 1779, they elected Rev. Mr. Hel-
muth their pastor. He believed that it was the will of the Master
that he should accept the call, and he removed to Philadelphia.
There he spent the remainder of his long and useful life. His
pastoral relations were continued until 1820, when the growing in-
firmities of age compelled him to relinquish the station. He passed
his time in retirement, waiting for the coming of the Lord. He
died February 5, 1825, in the eightieth year of his age. His funeral
sermon was preached by Rev. Dr. C. R. Demme, on lleb. 13 : 7.
Dr. Helmuth was a man of acknowledged ability. For 18 years
he was Professor of the German and Oriental languages in the Uni-
versity of Pennsylvania, from which institution he received, in 1780,
the honorary degree of A. M., and in 1785 that of D. D. In 1785
ke and Dr. Schmidt began a private Seminary for the instruction
of candidates for the Lutheran Ministry. They continued it for 20
years, and sent forth many able preachers.
— 61 —
He enjoyed a rare influence in the church, and in the citj in
which he lived. He was the author of several valuable works. He
was a highly gifted preacher, and an indefatigable and zealous pas-
tor, and during the ravages of the yellow fever in Philadelphia, in
1793 and 1800, he remained with his flock, at the imminent risk of
his life. During that visitation he buried 625 of his members. He
was a true lover of children, and the fame of his admirable and edi-
fying catechizations still lingers in the church.
Surely we have reason to believe that ten years of the faithful
labors of such a man made an impression upon the congregation of
Lancaster, that is felt to this moment !
The congregation now extended a call to the Rev. Mr. Schulze, of
Tulpehocken ; but he found it impossible to sever the ties that bound
him to his congregation, and therefore declined. A call was there-
upon given to and accepted by one, whose faithful labors extended
over thirty-five years of the history of the congregation, — and who
is affectionately remembered by many fathers and mothers in our
G. H. E. MUHLENBERa, D. D.
A. D. 1T80— 1815.
GoTTHiLF Henry Ernest Muhlenberg, the youngest son of Dr.
Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, and his wife Anna Maria, a daughter
of the celebrated Conrad Weiser, was born at New-Providence,
Montgomery county, on the 17th of November, 1753. At his bap-
tism, Henry Keppele and the absent Henry, Count of Wernigerode,
were sponsors. His earliest education was received in the school
of his native village, until he removed, with his parents, to Philadel-
phia in 1761, where he entered the congregational school. On
the 27th of April, 1763, he, with his elder brothers, Peter and
Frederick, was sent to Europe. In about seven weeks they reached
England, and thence proceeded to Holland, and East Friesland. As
his brothers went on in advance, he travelled alone, by way of Olden-
burg, Brunswick, and Hanover, to Eimbeck, where his father's rela-
tives still resided. On the 1st c f September, 1763, they safely arrived
at Halle, where the three brothers were placed among the orphans.
In the Orphan House he first passed through four German, and then
— 62 —
through the Latin, Grreek, Hebrew, and French classes. As he waS
too young to enter the University at the same time with his brothers,
he continued longer in the higher classes of the Orphan House, and
did not enter the University until September 1769. In 1770 he
departed from Halle, and, by way of Wernigerode, Brunswick, Lune-
burg, and Altona, went to London, whence he soon sailed for New-
York and Philadelphia, arriving safely towards the end of Sept.
1770. In Oct. of the same year he was ordained, at a meeting of
the Synod of Pennsylvania, at Reading, and became his father's as-
sistant, preaching in Philadelphia, Barren Hill, and in the Churches
on the Raritan. In 1773 he was formally appointed assistant minis-
ter at Philadelphia, and on the 4th of April 1774, he was elected
third minister of that congregation. On the 26th of July 1774, he
married Mary Cath, Hall. During the memorable yej^r 1776, many
members of the Philadelphia congregation entered the revolutionary
army, and the young pastor informs us, that he took his wife and
child to New-Providence, on account of the British. Durino; the
year 1777 they were again obliged to fly, and he followed his
family, Sept. 22. On the 22d of Nov. Zion's church was converted
into a hospital, by the British, who did not evacuate the city until
July 1778, when the young pastor returned to his post.
April 5, 1779, he oifered his resignation, and on the 20th of May
left Philadelphia, to take charge of the congregation at New-
Hanover. He confesses that he soon discovered that he would be
of more use in the city than in the country, and therefore, when
the call from Lancaster was offered to him, at a Synodical meeting
at Tulpehocken, he took it into serious consideration. With the
approbation of all the brethren present, he determined to accept
it, on condition, that his congregation at New-Hanover should be
supplied with a good pastor.
On the 1st of January 1780 he visited Lancaster, and formally
accepted the call, but was unable to remove before March 4th, and
did not arrive in Lancaster until the 9th of that month.
Before proceeding to our description of his labors and experiences,
it may be of service to recall a few facts in regard to the peculiar
difficulties of the days in which he entered his new field of labor.
The preceding winter had severely tried all parts of the country.
Irving says that the hardships of Valley Forge "were scarcely more
severe than those suffered by Washington's army during that winter,
while hutted among the heights of Morristown." The winter set in
early, and was the most intense ever remembered in the country.
— 63 —
It was called "TAc hard winter.'' The great bay of New-York was
frozen over. Ice was from 16 to 19 inches thick, and frost pene-
trated the ground from four to five feet ; the ears of the horned
cattle, and the feet of hogs exposed to the air, were frost-bitten ;
squirrels perished in their holes, and patridges'^were often found
dead. In addition to this, the currency was greatly deranged. Con-
gress had issued paper money, "which, for a time, passed currently
at par ; but sank in value as further emissions succeeded, and that
already in circulation, remained unredeemed. The several States
added to the evil by emitting paper in their separate capacities ;
thus the country gradually became flooded with a "continental cur-
rency," as it was called ; irredeemable, and of no intrinsic value.
The consequence was a general derangement of trade and finance*
The continental currency declined to such a degree, that forty
dollars in paper were equivalent to only one in specie."*
The hard times had however pressed upon the people at Lancas-
ter during several years before. In 1777 the church-council, in
view of the high price of the most needful articles, which was more
than twice that of former years, resolved, that inasmuch as the pas-
tor, schoolmaster and organist do not and cannot enjoy any oppor-
tunity to increase their income, they would add XoO annually to
the pastor's salary ; and that this increase should be taken from the
treasury, and hold good as long as the hard times should last. They
also raised the salaries of the schoolmaster and organist.
It was during such times, that Dr. Muhlenberg took charge of the
Lancaster congregation. The following insertion in the church-
records, the second in his hand writing, suggests the character of
the times : "May 15, 1780. As the times are still getting worse,
it was resolved that Jacob Uhrig shall in future receive X25 of the
present currency, quarterly, for his services, viz : blowing the bel-
lows, ringing the bells, having charge of the children in church, and
cleaning the church."
At the same meeting they, however, also resolved, that those who
do not subscribe anything towards the support of the pastor, should
in future no longer be considered members of the congregation.
The congregational school, established many years before, was
still flourishing under the old and faithful teacher, Jacob Loeser.
He was formerly schoolmaster in the New-Hanover congrega-
tion, when the elder Muhlenberg was pastor there. He recom-
* Irving'a Washington, vol. 4, p. 2. 3.
— 64: —
mended him to Lancaster in 1748, during the pastorate of Rev. Mr.
Handschuh. He removed to Lancaster, on the 7th Jan 1749, and
at once began his important and responsible work. At a meeting
of the Synod of Pennsylvania, held in Philadelphia in June 1762,
a report setting forth the condition of the congregational schools
within its bounds, contains the following statement of the Lancaster
school ; "During the summer the German school is attended by
about 50 or 60 children, and during the winter from 80—90, The
school-master, Jacob Loeser, is an able and gifted man, who would
well be able to render more services. It is however to be resretted,
that on account of the want of room, and better regulations, it can-
not be rendered more efficient." Jacob Loeser continued his work
during the pastorate of Revds. Handschuh, Gerock, Helmuth, and
part of that of Rev. H E. Muhlenberg. In 1776 his son Valen-
tine Loeser assisted him, especially in playing the organ, for wliich
he received an annual remuneration of ,£12 Pa. currency. In 1781
it appears that Mr. Jacob Loeser, in addition to teaching school and
playing the organ, led the singing during the regular public servi-
ces, and at funerals, opened and closed the church, and had charge
of the grave-yard, for which services he received a free dwelling in
part of the school-house, the free use of a certain part of the school-
house lot, ten cords of wood, half being hickory, and the sum of ^£10
in silver. At the same time his son was discharged from the fur-
ther performance of the duties of organist.
Jacob Loeser, after having faithfully served the congregation du-
ring forty-four years, and after following to the grave his Avife and
son Valentine, a few years before, died in 1793, in the 70th year of
his age. In the grateful remembrance of the laborers of the past
one hundred and thirty years, the man who for more than forty
years faithfully instructed the children of the church, not only in
the usual branches taught in that day, but especially in the princi
pies of the christian religion, should not be overlooked and forgotten.
The formula of government adopted by the congregation specified,
that every member "must have his assigned pew or seat in the church,
and annually pay into the treasury the fixed rent, without murmur-
ing and hesitation, and also his benevolent gifts, for the support
and continuance of the Evangelical service of God, and the support
of the laborers in it, so long as necessary." In 1782 the church-
council passed the following resolutions in regard to the former:
1. The pew-moncy must be publicly paid on May 13, 14, 15. and
all who desire to secure seats, or make any change, must apply at
— . 65 —
the same time. 2. Whoever shall fail to pay the rent of his or her
pew for three years or more, shall forfeit the seat, unless the non-pay-
ment arises from poverty. 3. He who takes no sitting, shall be de-
prived, according to the church-rules, of all the privileges of a mem-
ber, especially the burial place, ringing of the bells, &c. 4. All
are earnestly to be reminded not to occupy a pew, to which they
are not entitled, especially as there are free pews, open to all.
The present church edifice having been dedicated and opened in
May, 1766, the year for pew-rent began in May, and pews were
also assigned at that time, and the same arrangement is still con-
tinued, almost 100 years after its introduction.
During the meetings for the reception of pew-rent. May, 1782,
the question was raised, whether, under existing circumstances, and
in order to afford relief to the congregation, it would be possible to
abolish the "pew-rents" or the "minister-money." After considerable
discussion, it was resolved to continue the collection of both. At
the same meeting they made arrangements to provide lodgings for
the ministers of the Synod of Pennsylvania, which was expected to
hold its next meeting, on the first Sunday after Trin. 1782.
A few months afterwards they elected a new sexton, or as the
old minutes call him, "bellows-treader and grave-digger." It was
his duty to ring the bells at public worship and funerals, blow the
bellows, watch the children in church, clean the church as often as
directed to do so by the deacons, and superintend the grave-yard ;
for these latter services he was to receive an annual salary of £b,
to be paid quarterly. They also fixed the price for making graves,
as follows : for that of a child, when the minister does not accom-
pany the funeral, and no bell is rung, 2 shill. 6 pence ; for a child's
grave, when no bier is used, and there is bell-ringing, 3 sh. 9d. ; for
those who are carried on the bier, 5 sh.
That church-discipline was exercised at this time, appears from
the minutes of the next year, when two males and two females were
formally excommunicated on account of adultery, and declared de-
prived of all the privileges of membership, until they should mani-
fest sincere repentance towards God.
During the same year, 1783, the question of discontinuing either
the pew- or minister-money again came up. All who had already
served as elders and deacons met the church-council, and after
several sittings, a congregational meeting was called, which resolved,
by a vote of two-thirds, that the minister-money should be collected as
— 66 —
usual, but that the pew-money, beginning with the current year,
should be reduced one-half.
In August, 1783, it was resolved, that no suicide, malefactor, or
any one who had lived and died in the open works of the flesh, such
as adultery, fornication, theft, and drunkenness, — also such as have
contributed nothing whatever towards the support of the church,
should be buried on the grave-yard, unless a certain sum, to be fixed
by the church-council, or a committee of the same, be paid into the
treasury in advance. Illegitimate children were to be interred in
the grave-yard, if their parents or grand-parents have been contri-
butors to the church; but they must be buried away from the other
graves, near the wall, and there shall be no ringing or singing.
In order to secure the punctual attendance of the members at the
meetings of the church-council, they at this time agreed that a fine
of 2 sh. 6 d. should be paid by every one who absented himself, or
came a half hour too late, without sufficient excuse.
The "Hallische Nachrichten" supplied abundant material for the
foregoing pages, and enable us to give a full and satisfactory ac-
count of the Lancaster congregation during the ministrations of Dr.
H. E. Muhlenberg's predecessors ; and, we regret that the last
communications, concerning this congregation, contained in these
interesting annals, were written in 1785. They consist of "Two
letters of the younger Mr. Muhlenberg, of Lancaster, to his father,
exhibiting some particulars concerning his congregation." Both
letters are here presented, the first being dated Feb. 7, 1785.
"I am still engaged in the duties of my office. As usual, I preach
twice each Lord's day. I cannot visit as much as I wish, because
I have no time. But I do not neglect to visit the sick, as soon as
their sickness is known ; and the baptisms of children, which in this
congregation almost always takes place at the residence of the pa-
rents, or at the parsonage, afford me a good opportunity to exercise
curam paatoralem. And this too is the principal reason why I do
not make stronger efforts to prevent the baptism of children in pri-
vate houses. I also make valuable use, for the same pastoral pur-
pose, of the visits of members who come to present their names for
communion. I also publicly and privately invite my members, to
visit me, while they are well; and some of them gratify me by doing
"You will be able to understand the outward condition of the con-
gregation, when I inform you, that during the past year I baptized
179, confirmed 72, administered the Lord's Supper to 627, and
— 67 —
buried 48 persons. The number of baptisms is less than during the
preceding year, because, during this year, I baptized few English
children, but sent all such to the English minister. The increase
in the number of confirmants is 6, and in public communicants 8.
I cannot speak of any change in the spiritual state of the congreo-a-
tion. Sincere souls grow in grace, and old sinners continue settled
on their lees. I have witnessed several interesting instances of
awakening, especially among the young ; and I hope that my labor
will not be in vain."
"During this year I do not preach on the so-called gospel and
epistle lessons, but on other texts, selected at pleasure. For the
morning sermon I take a text that has been suggested by somethino-
that has occurred in my own pastoral experience, or in my readino-
of the Scriptures or other books. In the afternoons I have been
taking up, in the order of time, the discourses of the Saviora-, as they
are recorded by the four Evangelists, In my sermons, I address
myself principally to my congregation, as I believe this secures a
greater degree of interest and attention on their part, than when
the body of the discourse is in general terms, and the direct appli-
cation is reserved for the close. I have resumed my catechetical
instruction, bavhig about 50 young people. I meet them on Tues-
day and Friday, from 10-12 A. M. and 1-3 P. M., and twice a
week, in the evening, I meet several married persons. God grant
me grace for this work ; for I love it best."
The other letter, dated April 2, 1785, is as follows :
"During Lent I instructed 70 catechumens, five being married.
Most of them attended during the day, and about 6 or 7 in the eve-
ning. I pursue the following course. I direct them to memorize
the ten commandments, the creed, the Lord's prayer, the principal
parts of the articles on baptism and the Lord's Supper, the "Glau-
benslied" and the most important scriptural proof passages, and
then go through the course of christian doctrine. Towards the
close of the course of instruction, I at each meeting, examine about
ten or twelve, one by one, asking them some thirty indispensable
questions. I detain them, after the others have been dismissed, and
strive to impress them with the nature and importance of the promise
they are to make, and after getting each one to make this promise
to me, I pray with them. In this way I feel sure that each one
has been suflBciently instructed, and also gain this additional advan-
tage, that my catechumens approach me unreservedly, and, I must
say, love me with a filial and fraternal afiection, instead of fearing
— 68 —
me. I confirmed them on Good Friday afternoon, in the presence
of a deeply-moved audience, and I trust to God, that my labor,
with many of them, has not been in vain. As for myself, the in-
struction of the young, is my most delightful labor ; and hard as I
am by nature, I can never dismiss my catechumens without feeling
like Jacob, Gen. 43 : 14. As a general thing they have hitherto
afforded me much satisfaction."
"On Easter Sunday morning I preached on Matth. 28, and
showed the unspeakable importance of the resurrection of Christ,
and how Christians ought to apply it, and administered the Lord's
Supper to 260 communicants, 165 being unmarried, and 95 mar-
ried persons. The disagreeable state of the weather prevented a
large attendance of older persons. In the afternoon I made some
remarks to the communicants, especially to those who had commun-
ed for the first time, on Philem. 20. The young people were
melted to tears."
"On Easter Monday, as the election for elders and deacons was
to be held in the afternoon, I preached on 1 Cor. 14 : 33. 40, my
theme being : "A description of a congregation, in which all things
are done decently and in order." God strengthened me in this
discourse. I myself was moved, and I have scarcely ever seen my
hearers more so ; earnestness, sadness and tears were visible on all
sides. Alas ! if these good impressions were only permanent ! I
entertain no vain delight in such manifestations, and do not strive
to bring about mere outward demonstrations. The servant of Christ
should wish not to have run in vain, Phil. 2 : 16, and may rejoice over
every prospect of a blessing upon his labors. Why then should I
hide my joy from you, when there is a prospect of saving the soul
of some one ? This comforts, and encourages me, and the spirit is
quickened. 1 Thess. 3 : 7, 8."
As we were regretting the want of further communications to the
"Annals" from his pen, we were permitted to peruse his "Arats-
Journal," commenced in 1785 and continued until the year of his
death. In this exceedingly interesting journal he recorded 1.
various theological ideas, for further investigation. 2. Sketches
of letters, and 3. remarkable events. This volume, whilst it
fully reveals his excellent qualities as a father, teacher, theolo-
gian, and pastor, and contains many admirable suggestions, espe-
cially on the subject of pastoral theology, has also enabled us
to throw much light on the period, during which he served the con-
— 69 —
The beginning of the journal shows how anxious he was to benefit
his congregation and the community in general. He fully appre-
ciated the respon:?ibility of a pastor, and labored faithfully. He at
this time thought that his people might be greatly assisted in their
devotions, by the preparation of a family prayer-book, better adapted
to their wants than any he could import. He also fully recorded
his views in regard to the necessity of establishing a German High
School or College at Lancaster, for the benefit of the German popu-
lation of Pennsylvania, Maryland, &c. He asked himself the ques-
tion, how his people could be induced to read more ? and proposed
to do it, by privately and publicly recommending cheap and proper
books ; by establishing a congregational library, and by presenting
prizes of books to the children. He was persuaded that a reading
congregation would be better qualified to understand his sermons.
He also proposed collections, so as to be able to distribute at least
a dozen Bibles among poor children and parents. During the next
year he again refers to this subject, and expresses his conviction
that the congi'egations at Philadelphia, Lancaster, York, Reading,
Lebanon and Germantown should have congresational libraries.
A meeting of the Conference was held at Lancaster, in Sept.
1785. The congi'egation attended the services, both during the
day and evening ; and the pastor expressed his conviction, that
these occasions were highly beneficial to pastors and people. The
good attendance in the evening also suggested the propriety of in-
troducing occasional evening services.
The great event, however, of the year 1785, to which he does not
allude in the above letters to his father, was the beginning of the
erection of the steeple.
The subject was discussed at a number of meetings of the church-
council. He informs us that it was positively and solemnly estima-
ted, that the steeple could be built for <£1500. They determined,
however, not to undertake it, without being sure that the money
could be raised. A subscription was drawn up, and the pastor him-
self accompanied the elders in visiting the members ; and having
succeeded in securing over 210 liberal subscriptions, they determined
to begin the work in the autumn of 1785, and elected Frederick
Mann, carpenter, and George Lotman, mason. Messrs. Bernard
Hubley, Matthias Schlauch, Jacob Krug, Valentine Breneisen, and
Melchior Rudisill, were appointed the building-committee.
The foundation walls, seven feet in thickness, and in places seven-
teen feet in depth, were raised and covered before the winter set in.
— TO —
In the following spring, operations were resumed, and the stone-
work, lime-stone on the inside, and brick on the outside, was suc-
cessfully carried to the proposed height of 86 feet, the cost, inclu-
ding materials, amounting to ,£1100. They now began to doubt
the possibility of soon completing the work, and it rested until the
spring of 1792.
During the year 1786 there was an increased attendance upon
the means of grace, and especially the Lord's Supper, and the
ties of friendship and love which united pastor and people, were
evidently growing stronger. He also gratefully commends the in-
creasing liberality of many. At this time the congregation also re-
solved to take steps to secure a charter. Some influential members
"were anxious to introduce a change in regard to the presiding officer,
but Dr. Muhlenberg contended for the old custom of the church,
and especially that of the congregation at Lancaster, according to
the fundamental rules of which the pastor was "empowered to be
present and preside at the annual settling of the church accounts,
and all regular and neces^sary meetings of the vestry." The old
rule, as just quoted, is still in force.
In his journal at the beginning of this year, he notices, regret-
fully, the fact, that many of the most prominent young men of his
congregation married young women of English speaking families,
some of whom were not even baptized. He deplored this, because
he saw that many of them were thus alienated from the church and
language of their fathers, and that the Lutheran congregations w^ere
in danger of sustaining considerable losses in this way. Although
exceedingly liberal, and far in advance of many of his contempora-
ries in the church, in regard to the use and introduction of the Eng-
lish language, he at the same time was very anxious to cultivate
among his people a proper appreciation of their German church
At an earlier period, children in the Lancaster congregation, were
generally baptized in church. That Dr. Muhlenberg was anxious to
restore this old custom, which seems to have been somewhat neg-
lected, is apparent, not only from the remark in one of the letters
to his father, but also from a resolution adopted by the vestry, in
1786, to this effect, "that children, wherever it is possible, should
be baptized in church.^'
During this year, the sexton was also instructed to ring the bells,
at tlie last ringing, immediately before the opening of the service,
for not less than 15 minutes; a fact which we record, because the
— 71 —
bells of all the Protestant churches of our city are still rung in ac-
cordance with the arransement then made.
It is evident that the fathers of our American German churches
did not neglect or oppose the English language to the extent sup-
posed by many. In 1772 an English class was added to the Ger-
man parish schools of the Philadelphia congregation. At the dedi-
cation of Trinity Church, Lancaster, Rev. Mr. Barton preached an
English sermon; and we were surprised to discover, in the old
records, that the famous Whitfield also preached in the same church,
on the 10th and 11th of December 1770.
They therefore had no objections to an occasional English sermon
in their church. Whether they contemplated the possibility of the
introduction of the English language in public worship, at that day,
we cannot say, but in the rules for the government of the vestry,
adopted in 1788, they agreed "that the proceedings of the vestry
should be conducted in the German language, until the majority
should consent to the introduction of the English."
At this time Dr. Muhlenberg also wrote in his Journal: "I must
apply myself more to the English language, so that if necessary,
I may be able to preach or speak it fluently."
During the following year the subject of prayer-meetings in pri-
vate houses seems to have engaged the attention of some of the peo-
ple and the pastor. He has devoted several pages of his journal to
this question, and appears to have come to the conclusion, that it
would be proper for a few intimate friends to meet in a private
house, the males in one house, and the females in another, for the
purpose of unreserved and friendly conversation on spiritual things,
prayer and reading of the scriptures. Should the minister meet
with them, he ought to offer the prayers, whilst the others should par-
ticipate in singing. He appeared to think that after all a compara-
tively small number, in a larger assembly, would bp able to pray ;
that timid Christians would scarcely attempt it ; that as a general
thing, when we meet with others, it is more edifying to us to hear
than to offer a prayer. He thought greater attention should be
paid, first of all, to closet-prayer, family-worship and public worship,
and that he would rather urge his people to attend to these things,
than to give special attention to other meetings.
At that time Lancasterians spoke of introducing theatrical
performances, on which, as well as on dancing parties, he ex-
pressed views such as are at present held by almost all Evan-
gelical Christians. During this year it became evident that Mr.
— 72 —
toeser could no longer satisfactorily discharge the duties of his
office, and from this time, until Mr. J. Strein removed to Lancaster,
the cono-reCTation had many discussions and difficulties about the
school. A Mr. Machold was elected to the position of schoolmaster
and organist in October of this year.
Among other things that appear to deserve mention, during this
year, was a resolution of the vestry, that the pastor's salary should
be paid quarterly ; and another, which prohibited all persons from
sittincT in the organ gallery, unless they held a regular seat there.
They also agreed, that in renting seats there, particular care should
be taken to assign them to persons who would be of some assistance
Some time ago we read a description of Lancaster, as it appeared
many years ago, in which the writer makes special mention of the
many public houses which meet the eye of the traveller. This seems
to be corroborated by the fact, that on the last day of the year 1790,
Dr. Muhlenberg and Rev. Mr. Hendel, agreed to urge their respec-
tive Synods to petition the authorities to prevent the increase of
taverns and fairs, believing that they had too many already. There
appears to have been a good deal of drinking in those days, and in
speaking of the many and heavy bills incurred in building the stee-
ple, he complains of the unnecessary expenditure for wine and gin,
demanded by the workmen.
In 1792 the Synod of Pa. met here, and the work on the steeple
was resumed. It had already involved them in a debt of <£1000 ;
but, nevertheless, they determined to go on. Two carpenters of
Philadelphia, William and Abraham Colliday, who had been highly
recommended to them, were invitod to present plans for finishing
the steeple. They did so, and when asked to estimate the cost,
said, that while they could not positively fix the precise amount, they
felt assured that it would not cost over £1500. Some members of
the vestry proposed to enter into a written contract, but this was re-
jected as "ungentlemanly." Mr. Hubley urged the leaving out of one
of tlie stories of the proposed structure, and he was seconded by the
pastor. They did so, because they feared the congregation would
be unable to carry out the plan as proposed. But when the ques-
tion was taken, the mover stood alone, and the pastor congratulated
his fellow-members on their spirit, and told them it would now de-
volve on them to sec to the completion of the work.
The Messrs. Colliday resumed work in the spring of 1792, and
were able to put up the frame-work in the beginning of August.
— 73 —
When the weather became too cold for outside work, they worked
on the inside until December. In 1793 the carpenters did not make
their appearance, and to prevent damage, it became necessary to
remove some of the scaffolding, which involved additional expense.
The work rested until August 4, 1794, and then it took them two
weeks to replace the scaffolding, and reach the point at which they
had stopped a year before.
On the 5th of September they set up the four wooden fio-ures,
representing the Evangelists, in the following order : St, Blatthew
was placed at the North-East corner, near the church, St. Mark at
the South-East, St. Luke at the South- West, and St. John at the
North- West corner, or as Dr. Muhlenberg expresses it, they wt-re
arranged according to the path of the sun, from its rising to its
setting, beginning with Matthew as the first in the East, and ending
with John as the last in the West. On Oct. 30, the ball, large
enough to hold 95 gallons, was elevated to its proper place, and on
the 8th of December, 1794, the painting was finished, and the whole
work was completed. The height of the steeple is 195 feet.
And now the bills began to enable them to realize the cost. The
Messrs. Colliday's bill, for work only — was .£1985: Is. Id. and in-
cluding materials £2370 : 17s. 2d.
In 1795 they discovered that they owed ^£2628, that they had
gone too far, and must devise ways and means to pay the debt.
Many have thought that our Lancaster steeple greatly resembled
that of Christ church in Philadelphia, which was finished in 1754 at
a cost of £2100, and is 196 feet 8 inches high. The early Philadel-
phians were proud of their steeple, and one, who had seen numerous
similar architectural ornaments abroad, says : "It is the handsomest
structure of the kind, that I ever saw in any part of the world ^
uniting in the peculiar features of that species of architecture, the
most elegant variety of forms, with the most chaste simplicity of
combination." We believe that Lancasterians generally look upon
the steeple of Trinity Church as superior, in many respects, to the
former pride of Philadelphia.
Some were very anxious to purchase bells, but the pastor and
others insisted that this should be postponed until the debt was paidy
and that even then three bells would be suflScient.
They were so careful of their steeple, that they resolved the
schoolmaster should take charge of the key, which was not to be
given to any one, unless accompanied by a member of the vestry^
— 74 —
or in cases of fire, public worship, and funerals. No one was per-
mitted to smoke a segar in it, or to enter at night without a safe
lantern. In 1806 the rule was made still more stringent, and no
one was permitted to ascend higher than the belfrj, unless accom-
panied by a member of the vestrj.
In 1795, the subject of pew-rents again engaged the attention of
the congregation, and it was resolved, that whoever wished to enjoy
the privileges of membership, must, as soon as he is of age, or free,
make application for a "Stuhl-Zettel ;" (a certificate showing the
number of the pew or sitting held) and, if able to do so, annually
pay the required rent ; if not able, he must nevertheless apply for
one, which shall be granted gratuitously, and shall be renewed an-
nually. Whoever failed to apply for this certificate for three months
after public notice from the pulpit, or, having one, failed to renew
it, or pay, for three years, was to forfeit his seat. They at the same
time, however, agreed to the old rule, according to which the grave-
yard was always open to the poor and to strangers, provided they
have been members of the Lutheran church.
Speaking of the poor reminds us of a fact which must not be
overlooked. The records of the congregation, from the beginnings
show, that the care of the poor was not neglected. It was made
the special duty of the "Armenpfleger," the deacons and the pastor.
We have found a great number of "orders" on the treasury, in the
hand-writing of Ilelmuth, Muhlenberg and others, for the benefit of
poor widows and others who applied to them.
During this year the importance of the English language led the
pastor to note in his Journal, in regard to the German School of
the congregation ; — "An English class ought to be added, so that
all the children may learn English .... An English school is al-
most indispensably necessary, and could easily be held in the second
story of the school-house, for Lutheran children."
In 1707 the troubles about the schoolmaster were renewed. Mr.
Strein was elected, and they were very anxious that he should ac-
cept ; but he was unable to come, and they were obliged to get along
as well as they could, the pastor during this time, frequently and
painfully feeling the Avant of a competent organist. In 1790 and
1799 the members were again called on to contribute towards the
payment of the "steeple-debt."
Although not strictly a part of the history of the congregation,
it may be interesting to recall the fact, that the year 1799 was re-
markable in Pennsylvania for one of the most violent and bitter
— 75 —
gubernatorial election campaigns, Avhicli was felt in almost every
circle, aflfected Churches, and alienated life-long friends. Dr. Muh-
lenberg also refers to it in his journal. In perusing some old Ger-
man papers of that day, we came to the conclusion, that party spirit
was as violent then as now.
Washington died on the 14th of Dec. 1799, and during the remain-
der of the year and the beginning of the first year of the new century,
the country was filled with sounds of lamentation, because the ''Father
of his country" had been taken away. Appropriate solemnities were
observed in all the principal cities and towns, and in Lancaster too a
solemn funeral procession passed through the streets, and on the 22d
of Feb., Washington's birth-day, the churches, fand Trinity church
among the number) were opened, and suitable addresses delivered.
While the country was thus in mourning, another distinguished
citizen died. Thomas Mifflin, Governor of Pennsylvania, and
Major General in the revolutionary army, died at Lancaster, and
was interred on the 22d of January, 1800, in front of theEv. Luth.
Church of the Holy Trinity, immediately beneath the tablet which
was subsequently inserted in the wall, to perpetuate his memory.
It contains the following inscription :
of the Memory of
THOMAS MIFFLIN, Esq.,
Major General of the revolutionary army of the
United States and Governor of the State of
A distinguished patriot
and zealous Friend of Liberty.
Died January 19th 1800.
The Church records contain the simple statement that the inter-
ment took place on that day, and although several individuals in
our midst distinctly recollect the funeral, we have not been able to
gather any particulars worth recording.
Not only the adult members but the children also of the congrega-
tion, were encouraged to contribute towards the expenses incurred.
In 1801 it became necessary to put a new roof of cedar shingles
on the church, and the children publicly contributed the sum of
X263. 14. 7|, which, we believe, they deposited in the font, in the
presence of the pastor and the congregation.
During this year many appeared to be in favor of holding a lot-
tery to liquidate the church debt, and the pastor remarks, in his
journal, "as this is the case, the attempt may as well be made."
— 76 —
In 1787 Dr. Muhlenberg lost his father, and now on the 4th of
June, 1801, his brother Frederick Augustus, the second son of the
patriarch. He had been pastor in Lebanon Co., Reading, New-
Hanover, and in New- York city. Having been called into political
life, he laid aside the duties of the ministry. In 1779 he was elected
a member of the Continental Congress. He was also sent as a dele-
gate to the State Convention, which assembled to ratify the new
Federal Constitution, and was selected to preside. He was repeat-
edly chosen as a representative to Congress, under the new consti-
tution, and, on two different occasions, served as Speaker of the
House. He was universally esteemed, and his mortal remains now
rest in our grave-yard, near the grave of his brother, and are covered
by a plain slab with the following inscription :
To the Memory of
FREDERICK AUGUSTUS MUHLENBERa,
Who was born on the 1st day of January
and departed this life
on the 5th day of June
Aged 51 years 5 months
and 5 days.
Ruht sanft, schlaft wohl in eurer Gruft,
Bis euch einst Jesus wieder ruft.
For many years the income of the congregation had been derived
from "pew-rents" and "minister-money." One of the old church-
books contains a list of subscribers towards the support of the pas-
tor, during the year 1802, and is preceded by the following remarks,
(in the handwriting of the pastor) which may throw some light upon
the liberality of some in that day, and prove interesting as contain-
ing the sentiments of Dr. Muhlenberg upon the subject :
1 . "There must be bitter poverty indeed, if a member of the congregation, for the labor
of the pastor for an entire year, cannot give one dollar, or double the wages of one day*
For this trifle he hears him all tlie year round, and may always look for liis advice and
comfort. We give four times as much as this for a child's tuition in the humblest school i
oflen ten times as much when it learns English.
2. The father of a family, who is not a day-laborer, ought to do at least twice as much
as the day-laborer. Two dollars a year is therefore reasonable for him ; for it rarely
happens that he does not make as much as that in two days.
3. Those who are well off (and the Lancaster coiigrcgation has many such) have partly
done well, and partly not. I am not as ycl able to say, that one has paid more than one
half as much as he is obliged to pay annually to the dancing-master; and is instruc-
— 77 —
tion in dancing, or any other art, to be compared with instruction in the doctrine of
4. A minister is not bound to serve, in days of health and sickness, those who ignore
him. He can, with a good conscience, leave such to their own will ; or, when they call
on him, demand remuneration for his time and trouble, especially when they say ; "we
owe him no thanks — for he is bound to serve us."
5t Twenty years ago the people gave as much as now (1802.) Are they in the habit
of not taking more in their business ?
6. Many are still wanting on this list, who call themselves brethren, present their
children for baptism and catechetical instruction, and wish to be treated like members.
This is unjust towards the rest, and a difference must be made. The minister should
see to this, and not serve such, without public and private admonition,"
Some, however, at this time, were not only careless about the
grace of liberality, but also about their attendance upon the means
of grace ; and this too was done by some whose special duty it was
to set a good example before the congregation. To meet such ca-
ses the vestry resolved, "that it is considered highly important for
the church-officers to attend public worship, and especially at pre-
paratory service, communion and confirmation, so that the congre-
gation may find true examples and patterns in the members of the
In 1802 the "steeple-debt" still amounted to ,£1825, and the work
of subscribing was resumed, and continued during the following
years, the expectation being that the whole debt should be paid by
March 1, 1805.
In 1802 Mr. John Jacob Strine, formerly of Northampton Co.,
received a formal call, dated April 1, as teacher and organist. He
was to receive X30 per annum, 10 cords of wood, half of it hickory,
free dwelling in the Schoolhouse, (except vestry-room) free use of the
Schoolhouse lot, the usual school-money, 10 s. per quarter, for day
scholars, the rates for night-scholars and singing-school to be fixed
by himself. Perquisites for funeral and other services were to be
optional with the members. He was bound faithfully and properly
to give instruction in reading, German and English, writing, arith-
metic, and other branches of knowledge, hitherto taught or that
may be directed to be taught by the vestry. He was to lead the
singing at public worship, and funerals, and play the organ and
have charge of it.
As we have seen, the congregation had for several years been
anxious to secure his services. He now removed to Lancaster and
entered upon the discharge of his duties.
In 1803 Dr. M. in his journal asks the question : "Shall the small
congregation beyond the Conestoga be served longer?" Dr. Hel-
muth had been in the habit of preaching there, and Dr. Muhlenbem'
continued to do so for a number of years. On the 11th of Sept. he
asks : "Shall a church be built at Columbia ?" the Lutherans of
which place looked upon Trinity church as their spiritual home.
The question was soon answered affirmatively, for in 1805 the cor-
ner-stone was laid. On the 23d of August 1806 the corner-stone
of a Lutheran church was laid at Strasburg, and Dr. M's. journal
contains the "declaration" that was deposited in it.
In 1807 the parochial school contained over 100 children, one
half being Engl'sh. On the 24th of May of that year, the Synod of
Pennsylvania, which has been a frequent and always welcome visitor,
held its annual meeting at Lancaster. Thirty-five ministers were
present, and sermons were delivered by Revds. Helmuth, Kurtz,
Schmucker, Geissenhainer, Jaeger and Schaeffer. In speaking of
the sermon of the first. Dr. M. remarks : "I perceived that early love
does not rust, for Dr. Helmuth made a very deep impression upon
those who still recollected him."
The recent formation of St. John's Ev. Lutheran church at Pliila-
delphia, and the difficulties connected with the introduction of the
English lanoruage in congreorations and in the Svnod, rendered the
discussions spirited and important. The Synod remained in session
until Wednesday evening. Dr. M's. remarks upon this perplexing
question of language prove his practical wisdom and liberality. Ilis
former connection with the Philadelphia congregation, together with
his standing in the church, and acknowledged wisdom and ability,
combined to ma'<e him a very active participant in the great trouble
of the day.
We congratulate ourselves that Lotteries belong to the past, in
which they were permitted to play apart wliich would not be tolera-
ted now. When money was to be raised for churches, or other pub-
lic works, the men of that day resorted to the lottery, as promptly
as many of our day appeal to fairs, festivals and lectures.
In 1752 a lottery was held in Philadelphia, for the purpose of
raising "^£1012 10s. — being half the sum required to finish the
steeple to Christ church, and to purchase a ring of bells and a
clock." The lottery was drawn in March 1753. As it Avas deemed
a Philadelphia ornament, it was appropriately enough called "the
Philadelphia Steeple Lottery."*
In looking over old files of Lancaster papers, ,we found the fol-
lowing advertisement of a lottery in 1804 : "Third class of the Lan-
* Watson's Annals, I, 383.
— 79 —
caster Street Lottery, authorized by law, to raise $20,000 to de-
fray the expenses of paving the streets of Lancaster in the borough
of Lancaster." The highest prize in this lottery was $1500.
An old memorandum, in Dr. M's handwriting, presents the follow-
ing considerations, probably intended to induce the legislature to
grant a lottery to the congregation :
"Data for the granting of a Lottery to the members of the Lu-
theran congregation at L.
1. The Cono;. have built church and school-house, and bought
Organ, Bell and Parsonage, without any aid of the public.
2. The steeple, an ornament for the public, was built, and four-
fifths of the cost paid by the congregation without aid — 4000 out
3. They give towards their school, English and German, be-
sides a free house, 12 cords of wood and <£50 annually, so that
their tuition money can be at half price. The school contains at
present 112 scholars, at half price, and 6 of which are entirely free.
4. They do not call on Hercules for help, without having put
their shoulders to the wheel, for in the last years (since Jan. 1800)
they have paid, not without great efforts —
For Roof to the Cburch $300
Other Expenses 100 repair, chureli, stove, fences.
Interest 462 or more.
besides the annual regular exp. of about $1750 annually.
5. The congreg. have been from the beginning good Americans,
they have received Presid. Wharton in their church, and Governor
Mifflin on their Burial P. without any gratuity. Does not one good
turn deserve another ?
6. They know that they have to take the tickets chiefly among
7. Will the Assembly leave no monument of generosity where
they have been well entertained a number of years ? "
The petition of the congregation was granted, and the lottery
was held in 1807. There were 6000 tickets at $3 each; 1 prize of
$500 ; 1 of $200 : 2 of $100, &c., altogether 2938 prizes and 3062
blanks, and all prizes were to be subject to a deduction of 20 per
cent. We present the following specimen of one of the tickets :
__ 80 —
LANCASTER LUTHERAN CHURCH
a 1 1 e r s,
Autliorized hy £(mj of the State of Pennsylvania.
THIS Ticket entitles the Bearer to such Prize as may be drawn to its
number, if demanded wiihin twelve months , , . . Subject to a deduction of
twenty per cent.
Although many of the books used in this lottery are still in the
archives of the church, we have not been able to ascertain the pre-
cise amount gained by this operation. It must, however, have con-
siderably promoted their object, for a few years after this they were
out of debt.
In the Minutes of 1807 we also found the following : "Re-
solved, that on the morning of Good Friday, the organ shall not
be played ;" which was probably adopted, in order to add to the
quiet solemnity of that day, sometimes called, in German, "the Still
Friday." Confirmation generally took place on Good Friday
Public worship was then, as now, conducted according to the li-
turgy of the Synod, in obedience to the section of the Fundamental
rules, which requires that "our pastors shall conduct the public ser-
vice, administer the Holy Sacraments, and perform their other
ministerial duties, in accordance with the Agendo and custom now
in use, until the United Ministerium consider it necessary and use-
ful to make and introduce a better." The usual church festivals
were regularly observed, and Dr. Muhlenberg also retained the use
of the clerical gown. We could not formerly ascertain whetlier Dr.
Helmuth, whose portrait generally appears with a gown, wore it
during his residence in Lancaster, but in looking over a mass of old
papers, we found a receipt, given by a tailor in Philadelphia, to Dr.
Helmuth, for a gown furnished to him, in 1775, while he was pastor
A little document, bearing tlie date of 1809, may also find
a place here, as it shows that the great subject of "minis-
terial education" was not neglected by the congregations of the
Synod of Pennsylvania. It is a receipt, which we translate, as
— 81 —
Hanover, May 29, 1809.
Received, through Mr. Peter Shindel,
From the German Lutheran Congregation at Lancaster Twenty
Dollars, for the Education of German Lutheran Ministers in Penn-
sylvania and the adjacent States.
J. FREDERICK SCHMIDT,
Treasurer of the Gferman Lutheran Synod.
The original is a printed form, (the blanks being filled as above)
one of which was evidently given by the treasurer to all congrega-
tions contributing to this particular object.
In 1810 some one reported, in the meeting of the vestry, "that
many now contribute and subscribe less, because we no longer have
a church-debt," a remark which might perhaps encourage some to
believe that a church debt is a church blessing, even as a National
debt is a National blessing. We have nothing to say upon the lat-
ter subject, but in regard to the former, we believe the history of
this congregation, and of every congregation, will satisfy all that it
is best, literally to obey the apostle's injunction : "Owe no man any
In 1810 the vestry also resolved, inasmuch as very little room
remained in the old grave-yard, to make use of a lot adjoining it,
which had been purchased for burial purposes, many years before.
Members in good standing were to be interred in the old ground ;
but all others in the new. The graves in the latter were to be made
in two rows, separated by a walk, the graves of adults on one side,
and those of children on the other ; while a particular part of it was
to be appropriated for the burial of all those, who, according to the
church-rules, were to be buried without "Klang und Gesang," i. e.
without the usual tolling of the bell, singing, &c.
There is no end to work, in spiritual and outward things, in a
Christian congregation, "God's husbandry" and "building" require
the constant attention and activity of those who "are laborers to-
gether with God." The people had just congratulated themselves
on getting through with the steeple-work, and now the grave-yard
wall required repairing, and the subscription papers again passed
from hand to hand, in 1811. It was so from the beginning of our
history — and will unquestionably continue to be the case as long as
the congregation shall exist.
We have now gleaned all we could from the records of the church,
and Dr. Muhlenberg's Journal, the last page of which was written
on March 31, 1815, a few months before his death, and refers to
the subject of the "Ministerial Ordnung" of the Synod of Pa. and
— 82 —
the interests of Lis congregation. If we had been able to find one
of the older minute-books of the congregation, Tve might have been
able to present other interesting facts, or a more full account of
those already given ; but after all we believe, that nothino- of mo-
ment has escaped us.
As early as 1786 Dr. Muhlenberg experienced attacks of giddi-
ness, which were frequently repeated, with greater severity in sub-
sequent years. He often complains of a weakness of memory, con-
nected with, and consequent upon these attacks. Later still there
was a partial paralysis. In the latter part, especially the last year
or two, of his life, he had repeated returns of the disease, which af-
fected him very singularly. After one of them he lost the power
of articulation, and communicated his thoughts by writing ; at
another time his hand was paralyzed, so that he was unable to carry
on his extensive correspondence; and still at another his memory
was so strangely affected, that he seemed to have forgotten all his
stores of knowledge, and actually lost the ability to read. With all
this he was fully conscious and believed that the loss was owing to
disease, and that he might succeed in acquiring knowledge afresh.
For this purpose he took up the spelling-book, and, strange to say,
began to learn his letters, and to spell in words of one and two sylla-
bles. When he had reached this point, the veil appeared suddenly to
be lifted, the lost treasures of memory were again revealed, and he
was able to read as usual, and to make use of his great store of in-
formation with his former facility.
He continued his pastoral labors, and extended foreign correspon-
dence with scientific men and others, up to the time when he expe-
perienced his last attack.
On the 23d of May, 1815, while in his room, his son. Dr. F. A..
Muhlenberg of Lancaster, from whom we have this and other par-
ticulars, being present, his father suddenly remarked * 'Augustus — I
feel that I am about to have another of my attacks, send for Dr.
Kuhn !" With this he arose, and resting his hand upon a large
stove, that was still standing in the room, he began to pray aloud,
first for his congregation, to which he was greatly attached, and
then for his family, and then for himself. In the midst of his prayer
for himself he fell into the open arms of his son, and in less than
half a minute was a corpse. We may readily imagine how the in-
telligence of the pastor's sudden deatli must have shocked the con-
On the next day, the vestry met, and "after taking into consi-
— 83 —
deration the death of the Rev. Dr. Muhlenberg, the members pre-
sent agreed that the pulpit be covered with black cloth ; and that
the bells be tolled one half hour in the morning, to begin at 10
o'clock, and one half hour in the afternoon, to begin at 2 o'clock,
until the day of the funeral ; and that the deceased be carried into
the church during the funeral sermon, and be buried near the other
members of his family. Messrs. John Hoff, Geo. H. Krug, Jacob
Snyder, Christoph. Kurtz, Adam Keller, Geo. Martin, Geo, Acker-
mann, Dietrich, and Peter Shindel, were appointed carriers;
and Jacob Krug, Jacob Stahl, Christoph. Myers, Leonard Eich-
holtz, Geo. Musser, and Peter Protzman, pall-bearers.
His remains were followed by an immense concourse of weeping
friends, and an appropriate discourse was delivered by Dr. Helmuth,
of Philadelphia, from the text : "Remember them which have the
rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God ; whose
faith follow, considering the end of their conversation." His body
rests near the church in which he preached so many years, and in
the midst of his parishioners. A plain marble slab, with the follow-
ing inscription, covers the grave :
Hier ruhen die Gebeine
GOTTHILF HEINRICH MJEHLENBERG'S, S. T. D.
der diese Gemeine 37 Jahre lang mit dem
Evangelio von Christo
als ein treuer Hirte geweidet hat.
Sein Geist entriss sich froh der hier nieder-
gesenkten Huette den 23sten Mai 1815
im 62sten Jahre seiner Pilgrimschaft,
Die ganze Gemeine beklagt in Ihm den grossen :
Verlust eines Vaters und treuen Lehrers.
Einer Wittwe und acht Kindern
Die Ihm dieses Denkmal errichten
Bleibt sein A.ndenken auf immer heilig.
Heil dir, du hast nach trueben Kummerstunden
Auf ewig Ruh in deinem Herrn gefunden.
Wir kaempfen noch : der Herr sieht uns're Thraenen
Womit nach Wiedersehn wir uns hier sehnen.
"He had enjoyed the uninterrupted regard, not only of his own
consrecration, but his virtues were enshrined in the hearts of the
whole community. — He everywhere produced the impression that
he was a sincere Christian. — He regarded the young, especially,
with the most tender interest, and zealously labored to promote their
good ; and they entertained for him feelings of the most profound
— 84 —
respect. — His manners were easy and affable, but dignified . . . He
was extremlj fond of music, and on several instruments performed
with much skill .... In person, he was of medium stature, of a
florid complexion and a robust frame He was a great pedes-
trian, frequently starting on foot from Lancaster to Phil-idelphia,
and regarding the walk as a trifling feat." He frequently walked
to Conestoga Centre, attended to his duties there, and then spent
some hours in rambling among the hills in botanical explorations,
and then walked back to Lancaster.
He was remarkably successful in the catechetical instruction of
the young, and the system introduced by him, and presented a few
years ago, in a translation, by his grandson, Prof. Muhlenberg, of
Gettysburg, was used for many years, by his successors. Many of
the old members of the congregation retain a vivid recollection of
these instructions, and still edify and comfort themselves with the
lessons then impressed upon their minds.
The University of Pennsylvania, in 1780, conferred upon him the
degree of A. M. and at a later period, that of D. J). He was re-
garded as a sound theologian and good linguist. His attainments
in medicine, chemistry and mineralogy were considerable. Botany
was his favorite pursuit, and in this department, he was probably
unsurpassed, at that time, by any one in the United States ; Dr.
Baldwin styling him the American Linnaeus. He carried on an
extensive correspondence with the most distinguished naturalists ;
and was connected with numerous scientific associations. In May,
1804, he was called on by Humboldt, who was then visiting the United
States. He frequently wrote for the press, and he left valuable
manuscripts on science and theology.
He was faithful in and out of the pulpit; and long before the for-
mation of a Bible Society in this country, he sent to Halle for co-
pies of the Bible, for distribution among his people.
One of his sons, H. A. Muhlenberg, was for years pastor of the
Church of the Holy Trinity at Reading ; the surviving brother — F.
A. Muhlenberg, M. D., is still an elder in the congregation so long
served by his father.
On the 5th of June the vestry met again. It was unanimously
resolved, "that the next quarter's Minister's salary, due the 1st of
July next, be paid to Mrs. Muhlenberg, and that she continue in
the house wherein she now resides, until she gets timely notice to
remove from the same, and in the meantime be furnished with fire-
wood, as usual."
— 85 —
At the same meeting It was also resolved : "that Mr. Hubley be
requested to "svritG to Mr. Muhlenberg at Reading, (Rev. Dr. H.
A. Muhlenberg, son of the Lancaster pastor, and afterwards Mem-
ber of Congress, ^Minister to Austria, and Gubernatorial candidate
in Pennsylvania,) to hear his sentiments in regard to coming to Lan-
caster, to serve this congregation as its minister.
On the 22d of June, they again met, to hear Mr. Hubley's report.
He stated that he had "written to Rev. FI. A. Muhlenberg, and had
also received a reply. The letters were read, and the church-coun-
cil being: ao-reed to send a call to the Rev. Mr. Muhlenberg, it was
unanimously resolved, that the members of the congregation be con-
vened in the church, on Sunday next, at 9 A. M., when the bells
are to be rung, to take the call on Mr. Muhlenberg for our pastor
into further consideration."
"Pursuant to notice, upwards of two hundred members of the con-
gregation met in the church, and the question being put, whether a
call may be sent to Mr. Muhlenberg, it was unanimously consented
"The members of the Corporation proceeded to the vestry-room,
where it was agreed, that eight members should go about among the
members of the congregation, with a subscription paper, so as to
ascertain, what offers could be made to the next minister. (The
meeting also ordered the treasurer to distribute donations among
the poor of the congregation.")
"July 2, 1815, the members met in the church. It was agreed
that they would offer to Rev. H. A. Muhlenberg $1200 per annum,
and the present parsonage. Leonard Eichholtz and George Musser
were appointed a Committee, to proceed immediately to Reading,
with power to agree with Mr. Muhlenberg, their expenses to be paid
out of the funds of the church."
Here the scanty minutes end. We know, however, that Mr,
Muhlenberg of Reading declined the call, and directed them to Rev.
Mr. C. Endress of Easton, whose name had probably already been
spoken of by some. What steps were subsequently taken, we can-
not say ; we simply know that a call was received and accepted by
— 86 —
C. L. F. ENDRESS, D. r>.
A. D. 181-S — I8«T.
Christian L. F. Endress was born in Philadelphia, in the year
1775. At an early period in life he commenced his studies, and
was I'egarded as a youth of rare promise. He graduated in 1790,
at the University of Pennsylvania, in which he was engaged, for
some time, in teaching. He determined to devote himself to the
work of the ministry, and studied theology under the direction of
Drs. Helmuth and Schmidt. He was licensed to preach in 1794,
by the Synod of Pennsylvania, and at once took charge of the con-
gregation at Frankford, Pa,, and Cohanzy, N. J. He continued for
some time to reside in 1 hiladelphia, and was employed during the
"week as a teacher in the English school, connected with the German
In 1801 he received and accepted a call to Easton, Pa., where,
with the exception of a single year, spent in the State of New-York,
he labored uninterruptedly, until on the 2d of September, 1815, he
was elected Dr. Muhlenberg's successor at Lancaster, whither he re-
moved on the 2d of October in the same y«ar.
As the Minutes of the meetings of the Vestry and Congregation
from the year 1815 — 1825, are very irregular and meagre, and we
have been unable to discover further particulars, by means of jour-
nals or memoranda by Dr. Endress, we cannot speak very satisfac-
torily of that period of his ministry, and must content ourselves
with the few facts we have been able to gather.
He administered the Lord's Supper for tlic first time, on Michael-
mas, to 47 guests, and subsequently, at Christmas to 13 guests. At
the close of the list of names he added the following : "The congre-
gation at Strasburg, which formerly communed with that at Lan-
caster, has for some time been engaged in building a church, and it
is now finished. They make application to the Lancaster pastor,
for his services ; but he cannot well undertake it, and he therefore
directs them to apply to Candidate Strein, who intends to take charge
of Concstoga, May town, and Elizabeth town." At Easter, 181G,
there were 149 communicants, and he also confirmed 54 persons.
In 1818, at Easter, the number of communicants was 243.
During the "language-troubles" in the German church at Pliila-
'delphia, Dr. Helmuth, in a letter to Dr. Muldcnberg, remarked :
■"Lancaster, most assuredly, needs no English preaching, for in my
time at least, even the English people understood German." This
was written in 1805. Dr. M. adds to it: "Tlicre is a great change
— 87 —
in this respect ;" and afterwards, on the same page in his journal:
"Lancaster is greatly changed. In less than 15 years English will
become necessary in the German church. What shall I then do for
the children I have baptized ? I myself shall preach for them, or seek
assistance in this particular elsewhere." On the same page he re-
marks : "God is my witness — I worked against the English as long
as I could — but I cannot longer resist." He appears to have been
favorable to the introduction of English services in German concrre-
gations, while he still gave preference to the German, and thought
that the division of a congregation on account of language should
be avoided, unless both parties were able to build a church, and sup-
port a pastor ; and that under all circumstances, whether they re-
mained together, or parted, the utmost harmony and brotherly feel-
ing should be maintained.
We refer to this subject here, because his prediction, in regard
to the introduction of English in the Lancaster congregation, was
fulfilled. Although visitors, on special occasions, may have been
permitted to preach in the English language, Dr. Muhlenberg him-
self, we have been informed, on the most reliable authority, never
preached an English sermon in his own church. Nor are we able
to say, by whom English preaching was introduced, for Dr. Endress
did not enter upon the discharge of his duties here until October
1815, and yet, in the account-book of the Sunday collections, we
met the following statement : "From the 4th of August 1815 until
April 14, 1816 — clear gain from the English preaching on Sunday
evenings $90.70." These evening services were at first held every
other Sunday evening, and afterwards more frequently. Dr. En-
dress therefore, in preaching English, on Sunday evenings, only
continued a practice that had been introduced before his arrival,
and after Dr. Muhlenberg's death.
Funeral sermons were, at that day, delivered in the church, and
in 1819 the vestry passed a resolution, permitting the pastor to
preach English funeral sermons, when requested to do so by the
family. We have not been able to discover any evidence of dis-
satisfaction with the introduction of this language to this extent,
either in the records, or from conversation with individuals who dis-
tinctly recollect the circumstances. The difficulties did not arise
until some years later.
It was stated on a former page, that the aisles of the church were
originally paved with brick. On the 23d of June 1817, the vestry
however resolved, that it was time to make a change, and to substi-
tute floors of 1| inch yellow pine boards, and to lay the proposition
before the congregation. The action of the vestry was approved,
and the desirable change was soon made.
Before relating the diflficulties concerning the English and Ger-
man languages, we must give an account of another congregational
trouble, which arose from a mere trifle, but created much unpleasant
and bitter feeling for a time.
Some of the ladies of the congregation had expressed the wish
to Dr. Muhlenberg, several years before his death, that they might
be permitted to present to the church a handsome crimson covering
for the pulpit and altar. He told them that such a present would
be beautiful and acceptable. Soon after this, however, his health
failed, and the matter was postponed from time to time, until his
death put it off still further, inasmuch as the pulpit and altar were
then covered, by order of the vestry, with black cloth.
After waiting several years, the ladies proposed to carry out the
suggestion formerly made, and passed around a paper, with the
following heading : "Lancaster, July 27, 1818. The subscribers,
Ladies belonging to the Lutheran Congregation of the City of Lan-
caster, agree to pay the sums respectively annexed to their names
towards defraying the expenses of covering the Pulpit and Commu-
nion Table with crimson silk velvet." This paper — with the names
and sums subscribed is now before us. The necessary amount was
soon raised, and the material bought and made up. They also pro-
vided a board and cushion for the Pulpit-Bible, a covering for the
whole, and also some hooks, on which the black covering could be
suspended on suitable occasions. Having some money left, they
also purchtised a pair of candlesticks, to be placed on the altar,
during evening service. The original letter of presentation, con-
taining all these facts, together with many warm expressions of sin-
cere attachment to the church, is still in our possession, and is quite
an interesting document. From the tone of this letter it is easy to
perceive, that they are indirectly replying to some objections, and
endeavoring to pacify some who were displeased ; and allusions in
the Communion Register, as well as the statements of persons still
living, show that there were such objections.
Although the letter states, that before Dr. Muhlenberg's death,
it was clearly understood to be the intention of the ladies to pur-
chase a crimson velvet covering, and the subscription paper men-
tions the same, some subscribed or expected to subscribe, under the
impression that the color was to be blacky and were so much shocked
— S9 —
at the idea of having red on the pulpit and altar, that they refused
to subscribe or pay. But this was not all. The whole congrega-
tion became excited on the subject, and was divided into reds and
anti-reds. The former referred to the example of many sister con-
gregations, which had introduced red without opposition ; the latter
thought it would greatly detract from the sanctity of the place, and
would be especially out of place on funeral occasions. But the let-
ter of presentation, dated August 28, 1818, was placed in the hands
of the vestry, and in due time the crimson velvet covered the pulpit
We have already stated that 243 persons communed at Easter,
1818. On Whitsunday, of the same year, there were 105 ; at
Michaelmas 65 ; at Christmas 10 ; and at Easter 1819, 110. Here
Doctor Endress adds the simple but expressive remark : "Excite-
ment on account of the crimson covering for the pulpit and altar."
But fortunately, this storm soon blew over, and the communicants
gradually lost their terror of the terrible crimson velvet, and again
took their places at the table of the Lord. All this happened many
years ago, and the few who still distinctly recollect all the circum-
stances, smile as they relate the strange excitement that pervaded
the congregation about such a trifle. Yet how often have Christian
congregations suffered themselves seriously to be troubled by trifles
light as air !
In 1821 the congregation asked the Assembly for a change in
the charter, which was granted, viz : "That the members of the
Germ. Luth. Cong, in the City (formerly borough) of Lancaster,
duly qualified to elect oflScers of the said church, be, and they are
hereby authorized and empowered to elect three church wardens,
in addition to the present number, at their next annual election, &c,,"
so that the vestry thenceforth consisted of the pastor, three trus-
tees, nine elders and nine wardens. One third of the elders, and
of the wardens go out of office every year; but the Trustees "are
and shall remain a part of the vestry, and continue in their office,
as long as each one desires, during life, or until they depart from
the doctrines of the Lutheran church, remove from the county, or
in a regular way be proved incompetent for it."
During this year the Treasurer of the congregation, of his own
accord, gave $1000 security, for the faithful performance of his
duty. The vestry resolved that, in future, this should always be
— 90 —
The parochial school, in charge of Mr. J. J. Strein, was still in
As this congregation is connected with the General Sjnod of the
Lutheran Church in the United States, it may not be out of place
here to recall a few facts in regard to its origin, and the part taken
in it by Dr. Endress.
The question of the Union of the different Synods then existing,
formed one of the principal topics of deliberation at the meeting of
the Synod of Pennsylvania, at Baltimore, in Trinity week, 1819.
At this meeting the Rev. G. Shober appeared as a delegate from
the Synod of North Carolina, for the express purpose of suggesting
and urging the formation of a General Union among the Synods.
A plan was adopted by the Synod, and a printed copy sent to all
the Synods, with the understanding that if three-fourths of the
Synods, then in existence, approved of it, a Convention should be
called. The Convention met in Hagerstown, Oct. 22, 1820. Dr.
Kurtz of Baltimore was elected President, and Rev. H. A. Muh-
lenberg, of Reading, Secretary. The Synods of Pennsylvania,
New-York, North Carolina and Maryland were represented. Dr.
Endress was one of the deputation of the first-mentioned. This
Convention adopted the Constitution of the Evang. Lutli. General
Synod in the U. S. of America.
They resolved to publish 500 copies of their proceedings in the
German, and 250 copies in the English language, and that the Rev.
Dr. Endress translate the same into the English language. He did
so, and we have now before us one of the copies, printed by John
Bear, of Lancaster. Dr. Endress was also appointed a member of
the Committee "to form a plan for a Seminary of Education;" his
associates being Revds. J. G. Schmucker, Dr. Lochman, Geissen-
hainer, and H. A. Muhlenberg.
The next meeting of the General Synod was held at Frederick,
Oct. 22, 1821. Dr. Endress was again present, as a representative
of the Pennsylvania Synod, and preached one of the opening ser-
mons, in the English language. Drs. Schmucker, Undress, Loch-
man, and Revds. Shober and Schaeffer were appointed a Committee
to prepare an English Catechism, and lay it before the next meet-
ing of the Gen. Synod. lie was also appointed a member of a
Committee to prepare a Pastoral Letter to the churches. At the
next meeting of the General Synod, at Frederick, 1823, the Synod
of Pennsylvania, "induced by peculiar circumstances" — had "re-
ceded from an institution, which they aided in establishing, and
— 91 —
which they still professed to regard as proper and highly benefi-
cial to the interests of the church." The General Synod expressed
its regret, and at the same time the hope that the Mother Synod
would soon resume its connexion with it. But this connexion was
not resumed until 1853, at Winchester.
We now come to the principal event of Dr. Endress' pastorate.
English preaching, as we have seen, was introduced before his com-
ing, and continued on Sunday evenings, and occasionally funeral
sermons were delivered in the day time» But after some years,
those members who felt the importance of English preaching, en-
deavored to make it more prominent, and to give it equal rights
with the German. On the first of January, 1825, the following pe-
tition was presented to the Vestry :
"To the Hon. Church-council, of the Luth. Congregation,
Respected Friends and Brethren !
With entire confidence, and united in christian love, we, the sub-
scribers, appear before you with this petition, and pray you, respect-
ed brethren, to prevent the ruin or decline of our congregation.
Many of us, whose fathers, to the utmost of their ability and in
christian love, contributed towards building and supporting our
church and school, and to all other expenditures, and who ourselves
also have endeavored to do our duty, perceive with great sorrow,
that after the old debts have been paid, new ones have been made,
and are increasing from year to year. In addition to this we regret
to find, that we cannot longer induce our young people, our wives,
brothers, sisters and other relatives and friends, to attend our
church, because they do not understand the German language suffi-
ciently, to derive the benefit which they desire. Other churches
are glad of this opportunity of attracting our members, whereby
they increase, and we decrease. It is scarcely necessary to inform
you, that wherever other Lutheran congregations, such as those at
Lebanon, Harrisburg, and Carlisle, have introduced alternate preach-
ing in German and English, they have thereby been brought into a
very flourishing condition. The Moravian congregation also pre-
sents a striking illustration of this fact, which will be sufficient to
We therefore pray you, honored brethren, to adopt a resolution
to this effect, that on Sunday mornings the services shall be con-
ducted alternately in the English and German languages.
In the full assurance that you will comply with our request, we
remain in christian love, your friends and brethren.
Lancaster, Jan. 1, 1825."
This petition, now before us, was signed by 134 male, and 82
— 92 —
It was laid before a meeting of the Vestry, in January, and post.
poned for further consideration until the beginning of February.
At the latter meeting a motion was made "that the subject of the
petition be referred to the congregation;" this was thus amended,
"that the question in regard to which the petitioners present their
request, should first be decided in the vestry." The amendment
was adopted, ten voting for, and 6 against it. Afterwards, on mo-
tion of the mover of the amendment, the resolution was unanimously
reconsidered, and the question arose on the original motion, and
9 voted for it and 7 against it. Thereupon it was resolved, 1.
That th3 election be published twice before it is to take place ; 2.
That the election was to be held on Tuesday a week, from 1 — 5 P.
M. ; 3. That the election was to be by ballot, one kind of tickets
containing the words "alternate English preaching," and the others
"no English." The election was held on Tuesday, February 15,
1825, and evidently resulted in favor of the "no English" ticket.
On the following Friday, a large meeting of the members of the
congregation was held, and after some discussion in regard to the
election held on the preceding Tuesday, a Committee was appointed,
which, after a short absence, returned and laid before the meeting
the following proted, which was unanimously adopted, viz :
"Protest of many members of the German Luth. Congregation in
Lancaster, against the election held in Trinity church, on Tuesday,
the 15tli inst.
Uevd. Presdt. and Hon. Members of the Church-council of the
German Lutheran Congregation in Lancaster :
Respected Father a arid Brethren !
It is with feelings of the deepest regret that we lay this docu-
ment before you. But we cannot decline doing so, because we re-
gard it as our duty to do our part, so that the rights and privile-
ges inherited from our fathers, may bo transmitted, unimpaired, to
We protest against the election held in our church on last Tuesday,
1. Because several persons Avere permitted to vote, who had not
reached the age of 21 years. See sect. 11 of the charter.
2. Because several persons were permitted to vote, concerning
wliom it could not be known Avhether they were baptized, confirmed,
had ever been admitted to the Lord's Supper in our congregation,
or whether their conduct really entitled them to recognition as
memljers of the congregation. See sec. 1, 2, 3, in chapt. 3 of
our Fundamental rules.
3. Bcciiuse many were permitted to vote, who have had no as-
signed pew or seat in the church, for which they annually paid into
— 93 —
the treasury the fixed rent ; according to which it would be neces-
sary, that they must have held, and paid for a seat at least more
than one year. And also, that these persons have contributed noth-
ing for the support and continuance of the Evangelical service of
God, (See Rules, chapt. 3 : 6.) but, contrary to the rales of the
congregation and the vestry, presented themselves before our other-
wise highly esteemed Secretary, between the time of the publication
of the election, and the actual holding of the same, and upon the
payment of 53 cents, or something more, had their names inserted
in the pew-book.
4. Because many voted, whose names have not been signed to
the Church-Rules, and, according to all that has been stated above,
are not entitled to be signed, because they cannot properly be re-
garded as members of the congregation. (See the entire 3d chapt.
of the rules, and in the church-book the manner in which signatures
have heretofore been acknowledged.)
All which we are ready to prove.
We hope therefore, that this protest will be received in the spirit
of brotherly love, and that the Hon. Church-council will take this
matter into careful consideration, and postpone the announcement
of the result of the election, until this consideration may be given
to it, in the fear of God.
(Signed by the Committee) : J. F. Heinitsh, Charles Herbst,
It was also resolved, that the proceedings of the meeting, together
with the Protest, ahould be signed by the chairman and secretary,
and be presented by the Committee, to the Church-council. In ac-
cordance with this, it was signed by Jacob Snyder, Chairman, and
C. Hager, Secretary.
This document was read at a meeting of the vestry, March 9,
1825, which unanimously adopted the following resolution :
^^Resolved, That Dr. Endress be requested to inform the congre-
gation from the pulpit, that on Easter Monday next, in the after-
noon, all those persons who have not as yet signed the Fundamen-
tal Rules, shall on that day, have an opportunity of becoming regu-
lar members by so doing ; and that at the same time, it shall be as-
certained from all the regular members present, whether they be
for or against alternate English and German preaching, by signing
their names to a proper instrument of writing to that eflTect ; and
that as soon as possible thereafter, a committee be appointed by the
vestry from its own body and from the congregation, consisting of
two persons from each party, to call upon every regular member
who has not yet expressed his opinion, in order to ascertain whether
he be for or against English preaching."
After this the meeting adjourned.
On the 15th of March, 1825, the vestry was again convened in
compliance Avith the following request :
— 94 —
Lancaster, March 12, 1825.
Christian Endress, D. D., President of the Ev. Luth. Vestry of
the city of Lancaster :
Sir : — Having a communication to make to the vestry, we there-
fore request you to convene the same on Tuesday next.
GEO. LOUIS MAYER.
Some unpleasant occurrences, originating in the great question
that agitated the congregation, prevented the pastor from appear-
ing at the opening of the meeting, but having been waited on by a
committee, who, in the name of the vestry, assured him of their
confidence, and desired that he might meet them, he appeared, and
after a few remarks, he knelt in prayer with the vestry. The fol-
lowing letter was now read :
Lancaster, March 12, 1825.
To the President and Vestry of the Evangelical Lutheran Con-
gregation of Lancaster :
Gf-entlemen : — We, the undersigned, in behalf of a committee of
nine, who were appointed at a general meeting of the members of
the Lutheran congregation favorable to English preaching, and be-
ing entrusted with full powers to represent said meeting in any ar-
rangements which may be entered into with the vestry, in order to
preserve the Harmony, Peace, and Union of the congregation, have
therefore appointed George Musser, Henry Keffer, George Louis
Mayer, and Christopher Hager, as a sub-committee to confer with
said vestry or a committee of the same, in order to accomplish the
PETER SHINDEL, Ohairman.
GEORGE MUSSER, Secretary.
A committee was appointed to inform the sub-committee, that the
vestry was prepared to hear them. They appeared, and after some
conversation with them, the following was moved and seconded, by
members of the vestry.
"That the English language alternate with the German, in our
public services, under the following conditions :
1. That tliose in the congregation, or a considerable number of
those, who arc in favor of tlie introduction of the English language,
sign a paper, in wliich they are to promise, never to ask fn- more
English in the public services, than is allowed by this resolution.
— 95 —
2. That the German language shall at least be on an equal foot-
ing with the English, in our public services, as long as fathers
of families in the congregation are in favor of it.
3. That on all the great church-festivals there shall be German
It was resolved, to postpone the vote upon this motion, until the
vestry should meet for the nomination of officers. After this the
On the 3d of April, the Saturday before Easter, the vestry met
for the nomination of officers, 18 members being present. After
the nominations had been made, the Secretary was obliged to re-
tire, and the President, Dr. Endress, was called away to attend a
The question was now called for, on the resolution presented at
the last meeting, and it appeared that five voted for it, and eleven
against it, and so the motion was lost, and the vestry adjourned.
The annual election for church-officers was held on Easter Mon-
day, but the resolution adopted on March 9, was not carried out,
on account of the one adopted on April 3.
It may be interesting here to present the state of the Treasury,
on April 18, 1825.
The Treasurer had received, in this year $1954.83
" " paid out 1960.08
Balance due to him $5.20
At the vestry-meeting, which received this report of the Treasu-
rer, the following communication was presented :
Lancaster, April 18, 1825.
The Vestry of the Evang. Lutheran Congregation of Lancaster.
Gentlemen — The undersigned, a sub-committee, appointed by the
Committee of Nine, take the liberty of again addressing you, for the
purpose of requesting a short Conference with your body at your
Yours respectfully, GEORGE MUSSER,
GEO. LOUIS MAYER.
A committee was appointed to introduce these gentlemen, and
after a short address from Mr. Geo. Musser, Mr. Mayer moved,
and Mr. Krug seconded, the following resolution : "That there be
alternate German and English preaching in our church, viz : on one
Sunday German in the forenoon, and English in the afternoon or
— 96 —
evening, and on the following Sunday English in the forenoon, and
German in the afternoon or evening, with the exception of the festi-
vals, when German only is to be preached.
Furthermore, that as long as members, who are fathers
of families, shall desire it, no further change in this particular shall
be asked or granted.
The motion led to a protracted discussion, (and, we presume, one
that was considerably animated^ although the minutes do not say
so !) during which five gentlemen left the room.
At last the question was called for, and the yeas and nays re-
corded ; nine, including Dr. Endress, voted for, and four against
it. It was then unanimously resolved to fill up the blank in the
latter part of the resolution, with the number ffteen. It was also
resolved, that on next Sunday a week, the first English service
in the forenoon should be held ; and then the meeting adjourned.
At the next meeting, several resignations of members, who felt
they could not continue in the vestry, after the adoption of the re-
solution in regard to language, were presented ; and although com-
mittees of the vestry called upon them to induce them to withdraw
the resignations, they declined to do so, and it became nec3ssary
to elect others to fill their places.
As was the case elsewhere, a great deal of bitter feeling was
aroused by this question, and the spiritual and temporal affairs of
the congregation sufiered greatly. The list of communicants at
Easter 1825, shows that many were deterred from coming to the
Lord's Supper ; and Dr. Endress added the remark, explanatory
of the small number : "The quarrel about English preaching had
On Whitsunday, May 22, 1825, there were only 62 communi-
cants and Dr. Endress again adds : "English preaching introdu-
ced a short time before," and "Continued disturbances on account
of the English preaching." At Michaelmas, Oct. 9, 1825, the num-
ber was reduced to 32, and he closes the list by writing : "The dis-
turbances created by the opponents of English preaching, cause
In 1826 the Treasurer's report showed receipts $1208.98, and ex-
Dr. Endress in the minutes of 1827 has recorded the following
causes of the reduction in the income of the church.
"1. At the time of the election to decide whether English preach-
ing should be allowed, (two years ago) all back-standing dues were
— 97 —
mostly paid, so that since that time only those pew-reuts which are
due during the year, have been paid; and some wh') let their pew-
rents go on unpaid for two years, are still in arrears.
2. Because between 30 and 40 former members of the congrec^a-
tion have entirely withdrawn from us, on account of the introduc-
tion of the English language, and have purchased a piece of ground,
adjoining our grave-yard, to be used for burial purposes, and have
also commenced to build an exclusively German church. Their
subscriptions therefore are no longer included.
3. Because cents, which are generally given as alms, in the penny
collections, were very scarce this year ; and although, during a con-
siderable part of the year, the services were better attended than
formerly, the penny collections amounted to less.
4. Because the last few years were generally characterized by great
scarcity of money, and on this account the collections were small.
The subscription money reached the usual amount, and in two of
the districts it even exceeded that received in other years."
As intimated above, a number of members, dissatisfied with the
action of the vestry and congregation, determined to build a church,
in which German only should be used. The old subscription paper,
of 1827, is now before us. It contains the names and subscriptions,
not only of those who expected to be members of the new congrega-
tion, but of many others, from the city, the county, York, Columbia,
Middletown, Baltimore, Harrisburg, New- York, and $250 received
from the vestry at Philadelphia, out of a legacy from Germany.
The whole amounted to $2315.28.
The corner-stone of the new German Zion's church was laid on
April 17, 1827, by Rev. D. Hertz, pastor of German Reformed
churches in this Co. The church was dedicated on May 11, 1828,
Rev. Mr. Uhlhorn of Baltimore, preached in the morning, Rev. Mr.
HofFmeier in the afternoon, and Rev. Strein in the evening. Rev.
W. Schulze, the first pastor, served the new congregation until Oc-
tober 1, 1828. He was succeeded by Rev. Weiand, Nov. 27, 1828 ;
and he by Rev. Mr. Merz. The congregation was afterwards served
for a number of years by Rev. W. Baetis, now Senior of the Mini-
sterium of Pennsylvania ; and by his gratuitous services, the church
was freed from debt, and also increased in numbers and efficiency.
Advancing years induced him to retire from the active duties of
the ministry in 1853, and in July of that year Rev. B. W. Schmauk
took charge of the congregation, which he is still serving. It is
now one of the largest congregations of the city, and a few years
ago was obliged to enlarge the church. There is every reason to
believe that God is establishing the work of their hands.
— 98 —
Often have we heard the remark : "what a blessing after all that
that church was built, and that such a fine German congregation
has been established !" The German population is, and probably will
be for many years to come, large enough in this and many similar
places, to require and fully to sustain German services.
The old feelings that animated many on both sides, years ago, have
long since died away, and the utmost harmony and friendship unite
the two congregations ; and their present pastors, who as boys sat
in the same parochial school of the mother church in Philadelphia,
find it very pleasant to labor side by side.
A few years ago the English congregation presented to their Ger-
man brethren, as a token of friendship and good-will, a lot of ground,
on which the latter have built their school-house. As might be ex-
pected, it is no unusual thing, to see some of the children of Ger-
man parents, as they become anglicized, entering into the member-
ship of Trinity church. Long may this fraternal relation continue !
Although not in the proper place, we here present the substance
of a note, by Dr. Endress, written in 1821, on the first page
of one of the church-books.
"At the opening of this Register, Conestoga, Columbia, Strasburg,
and Leacock were connected with this congregation. In Conestoga
there was a church, but the Lancaster pastor preached in it. In
1812 Rev. Mr. Ernst began to serve that congregation, in connection
with Maytown and Elizabethtown. Shortly after the small congre-
o-ation in Columbia was also added to his charc-e. But both, Co-
nestoga and Columbia, as long as Dr. Muhlenberg lived, were re-
garded as branches of the Lancaster church, so that the children
were baptized by him, and confirmed in the latter. About the same
time Mr. Plitt preached in Strasburg, and baptized the children ;
but only in part, for that congregation was also looked upon as a
branch. But after the death of Dr. Muhlenberg, in 1815, Cone-
stoga and Columbia came under the exclusive care of Mr. Ernst,
and in 1816 of Mr. Strein, and Strasburg was also assigned to him.
In 1817 the Leacock congregation was organized, and placed in
charge of Rev. Trumbauer. From 1814 the Episcopalians had a
resident pastor. From 1816-1810, and afterwards from 1821 the
Presbyterian congregation was also supplied. When they had no
resident pastors, the Lutheran pastor was frequently called upon to
baptize the children of those congregations. According to all ap-
pearances, the number of Lutherans, in Lancaster, and in the sur-
rounding country, originally embraced in the Lancaster congrega-
— 99 —
tion, has doubled since 1790. The number of baptized, confirmed,
and funerals, in the respective years, proves this," (The above
written in 1821.)
Dr. Endress died Sept. 30, 1827, after a brief but painful illness,
which was borne with great meekness and Christian fortitude. His
congregation, whose interests lay near his heart, occupied most of
his last thoughts, and elicited his deep solicitude. His end was
calm and peaceful.
A meeting of the vestry was held on the day of his death, and
the following resolutions were unanimously adopted :
Resolved, That the Rev. Dr. H. A. Muhlenberg, of Reading, be
requested to attend the funeral of the Rev, Dr. Endress, and to
preach the funeral sermon.
Resolved, As a mark of respect to the memory of our late worthy
pastor, that the pulpit and communion table be covered with black
cloth, to remain on for one year.
Resolved, That Messrs. W. Hensel, P. Shindel, G. H. Krug, C.
Hager and H. Eichholtz, be a committee to make the necessary ar-
rangements for the funeral.
Resolved, That the members of the vestry wear crape on the left
arm for ninety days.
Resolved, That the Revd. Clergy be invited to attend the funeral,
on Tuesday at 10 o'clock, A. M.
Dr. Muhlenberg, of Reading, accepted the invitation, and preached
the funeral sermon. Dr. Endress was buried in the grave-yard,
near the resting place of his predecessor, and a simple monument,
bearing the following inscription, marks the spot :
which covers the remains of the Revd.
CHRISTIAN L. F. ENDRESS, D. D.,
has been erected by his friends as a mark of
their affection, and a tribute to his worth.
He served this congregation as their faithful
Pastor for twelve years, and having completed
thirty years of his ministry,
in the fifty-second year of his age.
He was, on the 30th of September, 1827,
gathered to his Fathers, a bright example of
the peace and confidence, that spring from
the faith that he had so long and
so faithfully taught.
Peace to his soul.
Although the Synod to which he belonged, was no longer con-
nected with the General Synod, that body, at its meeting in Get-
— 100 —
tysburg, Octob. 1827, took the following action in regard to the
death of Drs. Lochman and Endress :
"Whereas it has pleased Almighty God, since the last meeting
of this Synod, to call into the eternal world the Revd. Doctors
Lochman and Endress, who were among the fathers and founders
of this General Synod, and were faithful servants of our Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ, and we desire to express our sorrows at their
Resolved, That this Synod hereby gives expression to its special
high esteem for these faithful servants of God, as well as to its deep
sorrow for the loss which the church has sustained in their death."
Dr. Endress was one of the ablest and most influencial among
our older divines. He was distinguished by the versatility of his
powers, and the range of his acquirements. He was a finished classi-
cal scholar, and accomplished in almost every department of knowl-
edge. He attained the highest honors of his profession, and from
the University of Pennsylvania, he received the Doctorate of Di-
vinity in 1819. He wrote with equal facility in the German and
English languages, and, at the time of his death, he had in contem-
plation several works for the press. He had prepared for publica-
tion, a commentary on Paul's Epistle to the Romans, in reference
to the merits of which Bishop White, of Pennsylvania, to whose
judgment the manuscript had been submitted, expressed a most fa-
vorable opinion. It was the Doctor's habit to deliver lectures to
his people on the different epistles. These, it is said, were very
able, and were, no doubt, written with a view to publication. Du-
ring his life, he frequently contributed to the pages of the Lutheran
Intelligencer, and since his death, several of his sermons have ap-
peared in the Lutheran Preacher.
The personal appearance of Dr. Endress was rather striking. He
was a man of athletic frame, six feet in stature, not cor})ulent, but
muscular. His complexion was florid and his hair light. He was
distinguished for his urbanity and refined manners. In the dis-
charge of his pastoral duties he was most faithful. He will be long
remembered by the church.
While he was pastor at Lancaster, he also prepared some young
men for the Gospel ministry. Of these we have been able to dis-
cover the names of Revds. S. Trumbauer, Jacob Albert, John Speck,
a Mr. Strein, Adam G. Reichert, and Samuel Gundaker. Rev.
Mr. Trumbauer long served the congregations constituting the Lea-
cock charge, and died last year. Messrs. Albert and Reichert are
still in our midst, and well known in the church.
— 101 —
At a meeting of the vestry, on tlie 12th of November, 1827, it
was resolved to appoint a committee to request the Rev. Mr. Dei-
ninger to preach on next Sunday ; also, unanimously, that the ves-
try feel anxious to secure Rev. Mr. Baker of Germantown as their
pastor ; and that the Rev. Mr. Deininger be requested, when he
oiEciates, on Sunday next, to inform the congregation of the action
of the vestry, and to read the 9th article of the rules and regula-
tions for the Government of the church, relative to the above matter,
and that the vestry will meet in the church on Wednesday, the 21st
inst., between the hours of 9 and 12, to hear any objections which
may be made to said call or vote of the vestry.
Pursuant to this resolution the vestry met on the 21st, in the
church, for the purpose of receiving objections. None having been
presented, it was resolved that Messrs. G. Musser, Geo. L. Mayer,
and J. F. Heinitsh be a committee to draft a call, to be submitted
to the consideration of the vestry.
The vestry met in the evening, received and adopted the form of
a call prepared by the committee, and resolved that it should be
signed by the vestry, and forthwith conveyed to the Rev. Mr. Baker,
by Mr. Peter Shindel.
The call was accepted in due time, and Dr. J., C. Baker became
Dr. Endress' successor.
J. C. BAKER, r>. ]D„
A. D. 1838—1853.
John Christopher Baker was the son of Samuel R. and Eliza-
beth Baker, and was born in Philadelphia, May 7, 1792. His
father died of the yellow fever, in 1793, when John was only
eighteen months old. He then lived with his maternal grand-pa-
rents, until he was ten years old. He was a delicate child, but un-
commonly precocious, and regarded by all as a very thoughtful,
conscientious and kind boy. He was early imbued with deep, Christian
principle, and was, in the morning of his youth, awakened to a seri-
ous concern in reference to his immortal interests. He early evin-
ced a great fondness for books, and a more than ordinary facility
in the acquisition of knowledge. In 1802 he was placed in Naza-
reth Hall, a Seminary of the Moravian church, where he remained
five years. In 1807 he was confirmed, in Zion's church, Philadel-
— 102 —
plila, by Rev. J. F. Schmidt. lie now determined to study for the
ministry, but he was at first strongly opposed by his friends, who
wished him to succeed his father in the mercantile business. But
nothing could divert him from his purpose. After remaining a
short time in Philadelphia, he repaired to Lebanon, Pa., for the
purpose of studying Theology under the direction of Rev. Dr.
After the completion of his theological course, he returned to his
native city, and before he was nineteen years old, preached his first
sermon in one of the German churches. In 1811 he was licensed
by the Synod of Pennsylvania, of which he continued a faithful,
devoted, and influential member, until his death. He immediately
received and accepted a call as an assistant minister of the German
congregation in Philadelphia.
In the following year the church at Germantown, Pa., having be-
come vacant by the removal of Dr. F. D. Schaefier to Philadelphia,
Mr. Baker was unanimously elected his successor. His new charge
embraced Germantown, Whitemarsh, Barren Hill, and several other
preaching places. During his residence here the church greatly
increased. In the year 1818, the large new church edifice was
erected, which still stands as a monument of his zeal and enter-
prise. He labored here with his well known untiring faithfulness,
in and out of the pulpit, for fifteen years.
When the time came for severing the tie, which had so long bound
pastor and people together, it was a source of general regret. To
him it was a severe trial. The principal motive for making the
change was the prospect of increased usefulness in a more extended
sphere of influence, although there were other considerations that
controlled the decision. Here, in Nov. 1827, he received the fol-
lowing call :
"In the name of the Holy Trinity.
Be it known to all persons whom this may concern, that We,
the undersigned, regularly and properly elected Trustees, Elders
and Wardens of the incorporated Evang. German Lutheran congre-
gation of the Holy Trinity church in the City of Lancaster, State
of Pa., with the unanimous ajiprobation and consent of the regular
contributing and communicant members of said congregation, do
elect and call the Revd. John C. Baker, present pastor in German-
town, wliich call we send witli the anxious desire, that it may be re-
ceived as a call from God, being well convinced, that as a good
teacher and Herald of the Kingdom of God, he will admonish and
correct his hearers, through the mercies of God, and bring many of
them to the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christy
— 103 —
The high and important duties of a teacher with us, are as fol-
lows : That he shall preach the word of God openly and intelligibly,
instruct and catechize the old and young, administer the Holy Sa-
craments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper according to the in-
structions of Christ, visit the sick, attend funerals, and on Sundays
and festival-days perform the duties of an evangelical teacher ac-
cording to our long established rules.
In the faithful discharge of this important trust, we promise all
possible respect and love, assistance and support.
We do also hereby promise, and bind ourselves, to furnish him
with a free parsonage and lot attached to it, and to pay him an
annual salary of $850.00 lawful money, to be paid quarterly, and
all the usual perquisites customary in our church. All this we
promise to perform, with the assistance of Providence ; and all this
shall continue as long as the pastor and the congregation shall be
satisfied with each other.
In consideration of which, we, the Trustees, Elders and Wardens,
have hereunto affixed our signatures, the 21st day of November, in
the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and twenty seven,
and agreed that the same shall forthwith be presented by Mr. P.
Shindel to the Rev, John C. Baker, of Grermantown.
(Signed.) GEO. MUSSER, Presd, p. t,
GEO. KING, Vice Fres.,
G. L. MAYER,
GEORGE H. KRUG,
F. D. HUBLEY,
J. F. HEINITSH, Secretary.
Dr. Baker returned the following reply :
'■'■ Crermantoivn, Nov. 23, 1827.
The Trustees, Elders and Wardens of the Evangelical Lutheran
congregation at Lancaster, Pa.
Crentlemen — Since I had the pleasure of seeing you, it has pleased
God to visit me with a heavy affliction ; my oldest son, a charming
and promising boy, has been taken from me, and now lies a corpse.
— 104 —
Bj this afflicting dispensation of Divine Providence my dwelling has
been converted into a house of mourning, and the hearts of its in-
mates have been filled with the most poignant grief. May God ena-
ble us to bear this heavy bereavement in a christian spirit, and grant
that it may be sanctified to our good.
In the midst of our afflictions I received this morning, by Mr.
Shindel, a written invitation from you, to take charge of your con-
gregation. I suppose, Gentlemen, that you are all fathers, and that
you will therefore excuse me, if under existing circumstances, I say
no more than that I accept your call, and that I will repair to Lan-
caster and enter upon my pastoral duties as soon as possible ; and
may God bless my labors among you to the good of many souls.
Commending you and the congregation over which you preside,
to God, I remain. Gentlemen,
Your sincere friend, JOHN C. BAKER.
By order of the vestry, the call and Dr. Baker's reply were en-
tered upon the Minutes.
They also resolved to procure wagons to convey his effects to Lan-
caster ; to put the parsonage in proper order for his reception ; to
publish his acceptance and expected coming from the pulpit ; and
that the President should write a letter of condolence to the pastor
On the 31st of December a committee was appointed to make
such arrangements as they may deem necessary for the reception of
Rev. J. C. Baker and family. At the same time the committee of
repairs was instructed to remove the railing around the minister's
pew. During the same month they also removed the little bells at-
tached to the collection bags or purses. On the 14th of Jan. 1828,
the vestry returned thanks to a number of ladies, for collecting
funds, making curtains, cushions, and putting carpet in the minis-
ter's pew and on the pulpit stairs. They also resolved to publish
in the newspapers of the city, that the Rev. John C. Baker will de-
liver his introductory sermon on Sunday, Jan. 27, in the German,
and on the following Sunday in the English language. The sermons
were delivered as announced, and on Monday evening, Jan. 28,
1828, Mr. Baker, for the first time, appeared in the vestry, sub-
scribed his name to the rules, and took the chair, being ex-officio
President of that body. A committee of four persons, for each
ward, was appointed at this meeting, to accompany and introduce
the new pastor to the members of the congregation. Feb. 25, 1828,
it was resolved, that Wednesday evenings be set apart for the pur-
pose of holding weekly evening service in the church.
— 105 —
Mr. J. J. Strein, for many years teacher and organist of the con-
gregation, having resigned his situation, the vestry, on the 3d of
March, 1828, elected Mr. Jacob Slemmer in his place. They
promised to give him $90 per annum, in quarterly payments, "to-
gether with all the emoluments and perquisites arising from the
oflBce of organist and schoolmaster, — the said J. Slemmer to have
the privilege of regulating his own charges for tuition." He was to
receive, for the nominal rent of $1 per annum, the use of the school-
house, with the exception of the large room in the second story,
called the "vestry-room." Thanks and a proper remuneration were
also returned to Mr. Beckel for playing the organ while the con-
gregation was without a regular organist. It appears from these
minutes, that the minister's salary was still raised by subscription.
Thanks were also returned to the ladies, for the Bibles presented
by them to the congregation.
On March 22, 1828, the Committees appointed to receive sub-
scriptions of Minister-Money, reported that they had received
The preceding pages have shown that the congregation cared faith-
fully for the intellectual and religious training of the young. A
parochial school, in charge of a succession of able teachers, had
been sustained for many years ; and regularly on Sunday afternoon,
the children were gathered in the large open space in front of the
altar, where the pastor, walking up and down, among these lambs
of the flock, heard them repeat Luther's Catechism, Scripture passa-
ges, and beautiful and instructive German hymns, adding such words
of instruction, exhortation and admonition, as their years required.
This practice was kept up until the time of the introduction of the
On January 27, 1828, Dr. Baker preached his introductory ser-
mon, and on February 10th, "in pursuance to notice given, a num-
ber of the members of the Evangelical Lutheran Congregation, and
others, met at the church, on Sunday afternoon, for the purpose of
forming a Sunday School Society, to be attached to the said con-
gregation. The Rev. John C. Baker (after having stated the ob-
ject of the meeting, by an address suitable to the occasion) was
called to the chair, and Christian Bachman appointed Secretary.
A committee was appointed, to draft a constitution ; and it was also
agreed that all those present, friendly to the institution, annex their
names to a subscription paper ; whereupon ninety-eight persons sub-
scribed their names. A committee of ladies and gentlemen was
— 106 —
also appointed to Wiiit on the members of the congregation and
others, to solicit subscribers to the society. They also elected the
following officers : Rev. John C. Baker, Presdt,, Christian Bach-
man, Secretary and Treasurer ; Mrs. John Musser, Mrs. John Hoff,
Mrs. John Longenecker, Sarah Musser, and Wilhelmina Rine, as
Directresses; and Geo. Musser, Geo. King, George H. Krug, Geo.
Matter, and John Ehler, as Directors.
On Tuesday evening, Feb. 12, the committee reported a consti-
tution, which was adopted.
"February 17, 1828, the Sunday school was organized by the ap-
pointment of the following teachers : In the female school — Eliza
Hoff, Sarah Kurtz, Maria Hambright, Ernestine Brown, Juliana
Kolp, Sarah Hensel, Susan Hambright, Sarah Peterman, Harriet
Brown, Augusta Musser, Wilhelmina Rine, Catharine Hager, Catha-
rine Shroder, Juliana Witmer, Elizabeth Rathfon, Ann Broch, Su-
san Smeltz, Hetty Rathfon, Catharine Turner, Henrietta Eichholtz,
Elizabeth Locher, Maria Haag, Eliza Stahl, Sophia Shindel, Mag-
In the boys' school — George W. Stauffer, William Hambright,
William Heiss, John A. Keller, Henry Hambright, Peter Speaker,
William Hensel, Henry G. Lemon, Peter Garber, Henry Markley,
Jacob Weaver, George Albright, John Powell, Jacob Garber, John
Albright, Julius Keffer, William A. Hambright, Townson Ryan,
John Brenner, George C. Shindel, Daniel Roth, John Martin. Mrs.
Keppele and Mrs. John Ehler were appointed Directresses in the
room of Sarah Musser and Wilhelmina Rine.
Sunday, March 9, 1828, School was opened. Present in the
girls' school, thirty-six teachers, and two hundred and nineteen
children; and in the boys' school twenty-seven teachers, and one
hundred and ninety-four boys. Total 413 pupils. On March 16th,
.they had 74 teachers, and 470 scholars. At the annual meet-
in"- of the society in January 1820, it was reported, that the follow-
ing books had been purchased during the year : 354 English Tes-
taments, 24 German do., 240 English spelling books, 132 primers,
and 62 German do., besides a great number of cards. The pastor
was again elected President, and C. Hager, Secretary and Treasurer.
Dr. Baker preached regularly, in both languages, according to the
arrangement introduced in the days of Dr. Endress. It sometimes
happened, however, that when funeral sermons were to be delivered
■on Sunday, they were often required in a language, different from
that to which the day properly belonged, and this created some
— 107 —
dissatisfaction. The vestry therefore resolved, April 18, 1829,
"that when a funeral takes place upon a Sunday, and a sermon is
to be delivered upon the occasion, it shall be delivered in the same
language for which that Sunday has been set apart."
In 1832 Mr. Jacob Slemmer resigned, and Mr. George C. Strein,
a son of the former teacher, was elected to the position of organist
In May 1832, application was made for a family pew in the gal-
lery, and it led to the following action of the vestry : "Resolved,
that the application for a whole pew in the gallery, for a family pew,
be submitted to the congregation, who are to be invited to attend
in church on Monday morning. May 5, there to decide whether the
vestry shall grant family pews in the gallery."
Pursuant to notice given, a meeting of the congregation was held
in the church, on Monday, May 28th, for the purpose of hearing
such as were opposed to the letting of family-pews in the gallery,
when, on motion, a committee of four persons was appointed to call
on the members of the congregation, and ascertain their sentiments
upon the subject, and report to a meeting of the congregation to be
held in the church at 2 P. M., on Monday, June 11, 1832. The
consent of the congregation having been obtained, it was resolved,
in July, "that the Secretary receive applications for family pews
on the gallery," and in this way the renting of family pews
was introduced in the gallery, some years before they were gran-
ted in other parts of the building.
The sessions of the Sunday-school were originally held in the
church ; but it soon appeared desirable to secure a building, better
adapted to the peculiar wants of such a school ; and therefore the
Sunday-school society took measures to raise an amount suflScient
to erect a building, and petitioned the vestry to grant them a piece
of ground, belonging to the congregation, for this purpose. In
July 1832, the vestry resolved, "that the Female Sunday-school
Society be permitted to erect a building on the south end of the
School-house of this congregation, fronting on Duke street, for the
purpose of keeping the Sunday-school attached to this congregation
In the minutes of March 26, 1833, we find the following :
"Whereas, a very respectable number of members of the Lu-
theran congregation do not understand the German language per-
fectly, and wish to partake of the Lord's Supper in the language
best understood by them, it was, on motion,
— 108 —
Resolved, That the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper be adminis-
tered four times in each year, in the English language.
Resolved., That the Lord's Supper, in the English language, be
administered in the evening of the same day, in which it is adminis-
tered in the German language."
Although the pastor's labors were successful and acceptable, and
peace prevailed in the congregation, it was, during this year, found
necessary to direct a committee "to investigate the causes which
may have occasioned the deficiencies in the annual revenue of the
church, and that they be requested to suggest ways and means to
remedy the evil."
For some reason, not mentioned in the minutes, the Sunday-school
society did not make use of the privilege to erect a building, granted
by the resolution of the year 1832. In April 1833, it was again
resolved, on motion of Dr. F. A. Muhlenberg, "that the Sunday-
school Society be permitted to erect a building on the south end of
the School-house lot, for the purpose of keeping the Sunday-school
attached to this congregation."
In August 1833, the committee, appointed to investigate the
financial atlairs of the congregation, reported : "that the receipts
of the treasurer for the financial year 1832, amount to $1093.78,
and the expenditures to $1261.75, and the entire indebtedness to
$1708.22. There are no available funds belonging to the congre-
f^ation, excepting real estate, and a legacy which cannot be in-
fringed upon. The committee therefore suggest, that the congre-
gation be informed, by the Rev. Pastor, in such manner as he may
think most judicious, of the state of the funds, and the necessity
of immediate effort to sustain its credit, and to discharge its debts ;
and further to inform them, that the receipts from minister-money,
ground-rent, and pew-money, with alms and collections, have been
annually decreasing, so that ultimately insolvency must be the ne-
cessary result. The Committee conclude their report with the fol-
lowing resolutions : 1. That hereafter the congregation shall, at
least once a year, be informed of the amount of receipts and ex-
penditures, and the real debt. 2. That monthly, instead of quar-
terly, collections be held in the church, to be applied to the payment
of the debt, and no other purpose, until the debt is paid. 3. That
the wardens be enjoined to be assiduous in the performance of their
duties, to call four times in every year upon contributing members,
if necessary, &c."
— 109 —
At the next meeting, committees were appointed, to raise money,
by subscription, to extinguish the debt.
In October, it was again resolved "that permission be granted to
the Sunday School Society of this congregation, to erect such a
building, at the southern end of our School-house, as they shall
think proper, they bearing all the expenses, and being responsible
for any waste or damage which the property belonging to the con-
gregation may sustain by the erection of said building."
On the 20th of January, 1834, the vestry also resolved "that the
public examination of the children shall take place on Good Fridny,
and not on the Sunday before, as heretofore." This referred to the
examination of the candidates for confirmation.
At a meeting, in July 1834, the President of the vestry stated,
that the lot of ground situated on the north-east corner of Duke
and Vine streets, and adjoining the property of this congregation,
was lately sold by the sheriff, and was purchased by Mr. Adam
Metzger, who is willing to let the congregation have it at the same
price for which he purchased it ; whereupon it was resolved, "that
the oifer of Mr. Metzger be accepted, and the said lot be purchased
for the use of the congregation, provided funds suflScient can be
raised by individual subscription." A committee was appointed to*
wait on the members for this purpose, and at the next meeting re-
ported subscriptions, amounting to |765.25 ; and soon afterwards
the lot was purchased.
February 9, 1835, it was resolved, "that hereafter there shall be
German service every other Sunday in the morning, and on all the
holidays ; German service every Sunday afternoon, and English ser-
vice every Sunday evening." Also "that lamps be procured for
lighting the vestry-room for evening service ; and that the collections
taken up at the week-day evening service, shall be appropriated tow-
ards procuring new benches for the vestry-room, and that this be
made known to those who attend the week-day evening service."
At the meeting shortly afterwards, a committee, appointed for
the purpose, recommended that the grave-yard should be enlarged,
by removing the fence which separated it from the school house lot,
so as to take in the ground of that lot, and to sell the materials of
the old building on the newly purchased lot at the corner of Duke
and Vine streets, and to enclose the lot by a good and substantial
fence. The Schoolmaster was permitted to use the garden part,
and the sexton the remainder of this lot.
At the close of December 1835, the treasury was again exhausted.
— 110 —
as It was found necessary "to borrow the sum of $500 to pay the
present demands against the congregation, and that the faith of the
congregation be pledged for the payment of the same, said sum to
be re-paid in May next."
We have introduced these repeated references to the financial
affairs of the congregation, because they serve to show how they
were gradually pressed on to the adoption of a different system for
securing a regular revenue. On the 15th of March 1836, it was re-
solved, "that a committee be appointed to ascertain the yearly in-
come of the congregation and the yearly expenses of the same, and
in case the present income be insufficient to pay all the expenses,
to devise means to raise funds for the permanent support of the con-
gregation. And that the committee also take into consideration
the propriety of introducing family-pews into the church, and make
report on the subject at the next meeting." Messrs. Geo. King, Geo.
Musser, and Dr. F. A. Muhlenberg were appointed on this committee.
On the fifth of April 1836, Dr. F. A. Muhlenberg in the name
of this committee, reported as follows :
"After a careful examination of the records of the congregation,
from the building of the church, in the year 1761, the completion
of the steeple in 1794, until the final payment of the whole debt,
your committee have with great satisfaction witnessed the most in-
defatigable and persevering efforts made by the patriarchs of this
church, to erect, complete, and transmit free from debt, to their
descendants, all the splendid buildings now in our possession. They
were sterling disciples of that good man Martin Luther ; their
hearts were as open as their countenances, and their religion re-
quired no hypocritical efforts to render it perceptible to all the
world, for their acts proved their sincerity. In those guileless and
honest times, every man contributed voluntarily^ in proportion to
his means, and, by universal consent, the unprofitable and unwortliy
were excluded. It was sufficient that it was customarij with the
good members to make voluntary contributions to defray expenses,
to insure regular annual and semi-annual payments .... If we ex-
amine the method used by other denominations of Christians, espe-
cially the English cluirches, to raise necessary funds, we shall find
that they depend only upon obligatory payments ; voluntary con-
tributions have gone out of fashion, and are only used in great
emergencies, when largo sums are to be raised, and for such occa-
sions, we think they ouglit to be resumed by us. Your committee,
therefore, have no hesitancy in ascribing our past and present diffi-
culties to tlie protracted dependence upon these "free-will gifts,"
unsuited to the times, and especially to the complexion of our con-
gregation. In accordance with these views they propose the fol«
lowing resolutions for the action of the vestry :
— Ill —
1. Resolved^ That from henceforth the annual collection of what
has been called "IMinister-money" shall cease.
2. Resolved, That the by-law, which requires every male an4
female, after confirmation, if he or she wishes to participate in the
benefits of membership, to take a seat somewhere in the church,
and sign the constitution, shall hereafter be strictly carried into
3. Resolved, That all the male seats heretofore assessed at one
dollar, shall from henceforth be charged at four dollars ; those at
eighty cents at three dollars; those at sixty-seven cents at two
dollars ; and each of the rest at one dollar. A similar change was
also made with the seats of females.
4 Resolved, That all those who are unable to pay twenty-five
cents per quarter, shall receive a seat gratis : but no person shall
be considered a member, unless regularly enrolled as such in the
5. Resolved, That family-pews shall be permitted in any part of
the church, wherever the seatholders in any one or more pews may
agree thereto, provided, nevertheless, that no alteration in their
structure be made, without the previous consent of the vestry or a
6. Resolved, That the pastor be requested to abstain hereafter
from performing the customary professional services for those who
profess to be members, and, having sufiicient means, obstinately re-
fuse to contribute what is justly due to the congregation. And to
enable him to effect this object, the Secretary should semi-annually
furnish him a list of contributing members.
7. Resolved, That a suitable person be appointed, by the vestry,
to make quarterly collections of the pew-rents that may be due ;
and that the Secretary furnish him with bills and receipts. The
collector shall receive 5 per cent.
8. Resolved, That the Pastor be requested to publish these reso-
lutions, from the time of their adoption by the vestry, until May,
at which time all those who are disposed to hold their present seats
at the new prices, or to obtain others, are requested to come forward
and express their wishes. Those who shall absent themselves, will
be considered as having acceded to the new arrangement, and will
be charged with the amount now assessed upon the seats they hold.
9. Resolved, That immediately after the distribution of the
seats under the new plan, a general voluntary contribution be made
by all well-disposed members, to liquidate and fully extinguish the
whole of the old debt.
10. Resolved, That an annual standing committee be appointed,
with full powers to grant seats and family pews to applicants, to
permit and direct such alterations in the structure of the pews as
they may conceive useful and necessary to accommodate the mem-
bers, and carry the intentions of the foregoing resolutions into full
— 112 —
The report and resolutions were unanimously adopted. It was
also resolved, "that the four pews at present occupied by the Minis-
ter, Trustees, Elders and Wardens, be disposed of for family-pews,
at an annual rent, to the highes.t bidder, on Monday, the second
day of May next, at 10, A. M,, and that the Trustees, Elders, and
Wardens, thereafter occupy the seats which they have individually
taken as members of the congregation."
This was also adopted by a unanimous vote, and from that day
to the present the officers of the church have ceased to occupy an
In the Minutes of June 11, 1837, we find the following : "It be-
ing represented that a proposition has been made in the Convention
in Session at Harrisburg to amend the Constitution of this State, to
adjourn, and to meet at this place, in October next, provided a
suitable building can be obtained ; it was, on motion, Resolved, that in
case the Convention should adjourn to meet at this place, this church
be tendered to them during the time they remain in session here."
During this year it was also resolved "that the church and the
other buildings belonging to the congregation, together with the or-
gan, be insured for such sum as may be agreed upon hereafter ;
and that a committee be appointed to raise money, by collections,
for that purpose, and also to liquidate the debt of $500."
The situation of organist having become vacant at this time, Mr.
John G. Fetter was unanimously elected, December 15, 18 o7. He
was to receive a salary of $100 per annum, with the privilege of
occupying the house of the former organist, with the exception of
The historical discourse at the beginning of this little volume
mentions the presentation of an hour-glass, by which the pastor and
people might be reminded of the flight of time, and the proper length
of the sermon. In the year 1839, Mr. John Brown "presented to
the vestry, for the use of the church, a clock or time-piece, which
was accepted, and the Committee of repairs directed to have the
same put up." After the completion of the extensive repairs in
1854, the same gentleman again kindly presented another clock,
which now occupies a place in front of tlie organ gallery.
In February 1840, a committee of three was appointed, "to ex-
amine and make report, as soon as convenient, in relation to the
general repairing of the church, specifying particularly all matters
and things necessary and requisite to make the same more comfor-
— 113 —
table and convenient." On the 27th of April, they presented the
following report :
"They find the windows and frames in a sound state, but very
much warped and open, but think that by using cement and wedg-
ing the frames to the wall, very little cold can enter the church.
They also recommend two flues to be cut into the wall, four inches
by eighteen, on the east side of the church, the wall being twenty
inches thick, which they think can be done at less expense than
building chimneys on the outside, upon their own foundation. . . .
They also recommend the painting of the church, the expense of
which, however, they have not yet been able to ascertain. They
also find that the steps at the front door require repairs."
A committee was appointed to collect funds to carry out these
suggestions. The committee of repairs was also instructed "to have
the back nosing of the pews taken off," probably to relieve the
suffering backs of the people.
On the 17th of November 1841, when the vestry was requested
to grant the use of the church for a certain purpose, it was resolved
"that henceforth the use of the church be granted for no other pur-
pose than for divine worship, to our congregation, and the meetings
of the Synod, except by particular permission of the vestry." This
rule has been strictly adhered to. and the church has been properly
reserved for the purposes for which it was built and solemnly set
By the persevering exertions of the Sunday-school society, and
especially the female members of the same, the proposed Sunday-
school building, a two-story brick edifice, containing two large rooms,
the one on the ground floor being used as a lecture-room, had been
erected on the lot adjoining the old stone school-house ; and on the
26th of March, 1842, it was resolved, by the vestry, "that the debt
still due on the Sunday-school building be assumed by the congre-
gation, and that the said building be taken charge of by the vestry,
in common with the remaining church property."
In 1842 the steeple was re-painted ; and on the 19th of July of
the same year it was struck by lightning, without, however, sustain-
ing any greater damage, than the breaking of a number of panes of
On the 3d of November 1842, "a petition was presented, signed
by various members of the congregation, setting forth their wishes
and the propriety of having more of the services conducted in the
English language, instead of the German. On motion its further
consideration was postponed until next meeting."
— 114 —
At the next meeting "a remonstrance was presented against a
change of the service from the German to the English language. It
was therefore moved, that all the papers relative thereto be referred
to a committee. This was rejected. It was then res Dived, that the
service be conducted in the same language as usual."
On the 4th of May, 1843, permission was asked and granted "to
hold the prayer meetings, in future, in the Sunday-school house,
under the control of the Revd, Mr. Baker," These meetings had
for some time been held in private houses.
On the 20th of June, 1845, the vestry granted "the use of the
church, at an early day, to commemorate the death of General An-
drew Jackson, by a eulogy, to be pronounced by Judge Lewis."
As the parsonage was found in need of immediate repairs, the
proper committee was directed to cause the same to be made, also
during this year.
February 2, 1846, it was resolved "that a committee of the ves-
try be appointed, for the purpose of forming an Education Society,
said Committee to consist of five members, whose duty it shall be
to form a constitution, and report at the next vestry meeting."
In the autumn of the same year, a committee, appointed to in-
quire into the propriety of disposing of the half lot of ground ad-
join iig the parsonage, reported, that they had carefully examined
into the matter, and came to the unanimous conclusion, that said
lot should be disposed of for a sum not less than one thousand dol-
lars, the purchaser to agree in writing, to leave a space of six feet
north of the parsonage, if he or they shall erect a building on said
lot ; and that the money arising from the sale be placed out at 6 per
cent, interest, for the term of ten years, on mortgage, the interest,
with forty dollars to be taken annually from the treasury, to be ap-
plied to the payment of the debt." The report was adopted, and
a committe appointed to carry it into execution. The lot was soon
after sold for $1000.
April 3, 1847, it was resolved "that the seal, with the inscription
of a Bible and the words "Evangl, Lutheran Church, Lancaster,"
be adopted and recognized as the corporate seal of the church, and
placed in the hands of the Rev. Mr. Baker."
During this year baskets were substituted for the bags or purses,
hitherto used for gathering the penny collections.
On the third of May, 1847, the question of language again came
up, and the following resolution was adopted : "that from and after
— 115 —
next Whitsunday, there shall be German service, every third Sun-
day in the morning only."
On the 19th of July, of the same year, the vestry received the
following communication from their worthy pastor.
Lancaster, July 19, 1847.
To the Trustees, Elders and Deacons of the Evang. Luth. Con-
gregation of the Holy Trinity, in the city of Lancaster.
Dear Brethren^ — I herewith tender you my resignation of the
pastoral charge of the congregation over which you have chosen me
I have for some time past desired to retire from the ministry, as
the duties of my station have become too arduous for me, and I am
considerably advanced in years. I long to spend the evening of
my life in the enjoyment of rest and ease.
Be pleased to accept my sincere thanks for the uniform courtesy
and kindness with which I have been treated by you and the con-
gregation during the period of nearly twenty years that I have had
the honor of being your pastor. I shall carry the recollection of it
with me to my grave, never ceasing to pray for the prosperity of the
congregation, and to commend it to the care of the great Founder
and Head of the church, the Blessed and Adorable Redeemer.
Believing that the step I have taken will be of advantage to the
congregation, as well as to myself, and hoping that it will meet with
I subscribe myself, with sentiments of respect and esteem,
Your affectionate pastor,
JOHN C. BAKER.
On motion, this letter was ordered to lie on the table, for the
present, and a committee was appointed, "whose duty it shall be to
confer with Mr. Baker on the subject of his resignation, and to pre-
vail on him to continue his services either wholly or in part, and
make report at the next stated meeting of the vestry.
At the next meeting said committee reported : "that the Rev.
Mr. Baker will withdraw his resignation for the present, and will
make known the sentiments of his mind more fully to the vestry, at
some future time."
In the list of deacons, elected on Easter Monday of the year 1849,
we find the names of E. W. Hutter, now pastor of St. Matthew's
Evang. Luth. Church, Philadelphia, and also that of F. A. Muhlen-
berg, Jr., at present Professor in Pennsylvania College, Gettysburg.
The former also accompanied Dr. Baker, in the capacity of lay-
delegate to the meeting of the Synod of Pennsylvania, at Lebanon,
— 116 —
On the third of October 1849, on motion of F. W. Beates, a com-
inittee was appointed "to take into consideration the propriety or ex-
pediency of disposing, by sale, of a part of the real estate belong-
ing to the church, and also the propriety of purchasing a piece of
ground for a cemetery."
At the next meeting, in November, "Mr. Beates presented a writ-
ten report relative to the sale of part of the church property, and
the purchase of a piece of ground for a cemetery ; which report was
adopted, provided, a suitable piece of ground can be obtained, and
paid for out of the proceeds of the sale of the church property in-
tended to be offered for sale."
At the same meeting F. A. Muhlenberg, Jr. moved that a com-
mittee be appointed to translate the church rules into the English
language. He was made chairman of the committee, and we be-
lieve made the translation.
At another meeting, November 10, 1849, Dr. Muhlenberg mov-
ed, and it was resolved, "that for the accommodation of this con-
gregation, a sufficient amount of ground for a cemetery be purchas-
ed, and that a committee be appointed to carry the same into effect.
It was further moved, by the same, that as much of the church pro-
perty south of the Sunday School building, as the committee may
think necessary, be disposed of, at public sale, for the payment of
said cemetery ground ; which was adopted. Also, that the Rev.
Mr. Baker publish from the pulpit, both morning and evening, on
next Sunday, the resolutions of the vestry, relative to the sale of the
church property, and the purchase of a cemetery ground, in accord-
ance with the rules. A committee was also appointed "to select a
site for the proposed cemetery, and report the result of their deter-
mination at a subsequent meeting of the vestry, for final confirma-
The congregation having offered no objections to the proposed sale,
the ground was sold for $2,805. The committee also reported that
they had found a suitable piece of ground, and the vestry unanim-
ously approved of their choice, and ordered the same to be purchas-
ed, on the first of February'-, 1850.
At a subsequent meeting, the Cemetery Committee reported "that
they have purchased the lands, agreeably to a resolution of the
vestry, and had that part, purchased from Em. C. Reigart, Esq.,
surveyed, and found that it contained 12 acres 1 quarter, and 80
perches. The Committee ask permission to employ a landscape
— 117 —
surveyor, to lay off the grounds in walks &c., and also for permis-
sion to procure trees &c., which was granted."
At the same mcetino; it was also resolved to introduce iras into
the church and Sunday-school building.
A few months afterwards the vestry granted permission to the
Presbyterian congregation, to hold divine worship in the upper room
of the Sunday-school house, during the erection of the new church
of that denomination.
On the 6th of July, 1850, '^Mr. Wind, in behalf of a committee,
appointed at a previous meeting, to confer with a committee of the
vestry of the German Lutheran Zion's church, in reference to the
sale of a portion of the graveyard property, reports, that they at-
tended to that duty, and that the vestry of Zion's church was de-
sirous of purchasing a part of it, fronting 41 feet on Vine Street,
and running in depth 50 feet, for the purpose of erecting a school-
house thereon. Whereupon it was unanimously resolved, that the
vestry of this church, (the congregation consenting) for and in con-
sideration of the sum of one dollar, to be paid by the vestry of Zi-
on's church, to them will convey the quantity of ground they desire,
viz. provided the building to be erected thereon be for ever secured
for the use of the Evang. Luth. Zion's church, as a school-house."
The vestry soon afterwards received the following communication :
'■'■ Lancaster, Sept. 4, 1850.
To the Hon. members of the vestry of the German Lutheran
church of Lancaster.
Much honored Sirs and brethren in Christ I
We, the undersigned members of the German Lutheran Vestry
of the Zion's Congregation, in the City of Lancaster, offer you, in
the name of our congi'egation, the most heartfelt and sincere thanks-
for the donation of a lot of ground for the erection of a School-house.
May the Lord bless you abundantly, and also your beloved con-
gregation, for the gift which you have bestowed upon us.
With love and esteem, we remain
Your obedient servants,
WM. BEATES, Pastor,
Followed by the names of all the officers of the church.
After the purchase of the property, now so well-known as "Wood-
ward Hill Cemetery," the vestry, on November 4, 1850, elected
the following nine persons as Trustees of that Cemetery, viz : Messrs.
Adam Keller, Dr. F. A. Muhlenberg, John Ehler, John Hamilton,
John F. Long, Fred. Sehner, Judge Lewis, C. Kieffer, and Henry
— 118 —
Shortly afterwards they adopted a form for the conveyance of the
cemetery lots and authorized the nine trustees of the cemetery to
draft rules and by-laws for the regulation of the same, and submit
them to the vestry for approval. Some changes having been made,
the managers of the cemetery, in December 1850, consisted of Dr.
F. A. Muhlenberg, John Ehler, John Hamilton, John F. Long,
John F. Shroder, Fred. Sehner, Judge Ellis Lewis, Christian Kief-
fer, and Henry Reed. It was also resolved that they be empowered
to fill any vacancy that may occur in their body.
At a m.eeting of the vestry, January 25th, 1851, Mr, Hager made
the following statement, viz : "that the Cemetery Committee have
appointed Judge Lewis their chairman ; and also moved that a com-
mittee be appointed to transfer the cemetery to the stockholders
throuo-h their Trustees, upon certain conditions hereafter to be
approved by this vestry; whereupon a committee of three members
of the vestry was appointed, viz : Messrs. Hager, Musser, and Beates,
to confer with the cemetery committee, for the purpose of car-
rying the above object into effect. It was also resolved, on motion
of Dr. F. A. Muhlenberg, that the committee have discretionary
power either to take a mortgage on the lawn, for the amount to be
paid for the cemetery, and receive the interest for the first two or
three years in lots, or, if willing to purchase, and pay the cash, to
On the 19th of April, 1851, a committee was appointed, to con-
fer with the cemetery committee, on matters relative to said ceme-
tery, and also to subscribe the sum of 1^200 towards the erection
of a sexton's house and chapel for the use of the cemetery, said
sum to be paid by a deduction of so much interest on the lawn,
which the church holds against the cemetery.
On the 2d of February, 1852, the cemetery committee reported,
that they had executed a deed of conveyance to the proper persons,
and secured payment for the same by a bond and mortgage, the in-
terest to commence on the first day of April, 1851. The committee
was also directed to purchase fifty cemetery lots for the use of the
congregation ; and also to settle and close up the whole business, to
the best of their judgment and ability, and cause the mortgage and
bond to be recorded by John W. Ilubley, the treasurer of the
church. A committee was also appointed to audit and examine the
accounts of F. W. Beates, the cemetery treasurer ; they did so, as
— 119 —
Amount received for lots sold $5225.08
" •' on loan 766.42
Sum total $599 1 .50
Paid out the following sums at various times $5965.75
Leaving in his hands a balance of 25.80
Debts contracted by the congregation, and to be assumed
by the present trustees, viz :
a loan $434.00
due to 1.35,00
" " 199.48
Amount uncollected for lots sold by the congregation, and
now due to the present company $645.00
The treasurer was directed to pay the amount in his hands, to his
In this way the cemetery, originally undertaken and established
by this congregation, passed into the hands of an independent com-
pany. "Woodward Hill Cemetery" has already received many a
silent inhabitant, and among them, some of those who were active
in its establishment. Its location near the city, and yet in a direc-
tion in which it is not likely to be crowded by the growth of the city,
with the Conestoga winding along its base ; the beautiful and peace-
ful rural prospect that is presented from almost every part of it, and
the number of flourishing trees and evergreens, render it one of the
most beautiful cemeteries we have seen.
It was found necessary to make still further changes in regard to
language. On the 28th of April 1851, it was unanimously resolved
"that henceforth the morning and evening service be conducted en-
tirely in the English language, and all resolutions prohibiting the
same are hereby repealed. Also, that the Sunday afternoon ser-
vice shall be conducted in the German language."
It was found that when German service was held in the morning,
many of the members, especially the younger ones, who could not
profit by German preaching, strayed away to other churches, and
we have heard how painfully it affected Doctor Baker, to meet his
people, on his road to church, going away from their own spiritual
home, to worship elsewhere. Besides this, the German morning
service was poorly attended, as the German congregation, at this
time regularly and faithfully served by Father Beates, was more
attractive than these occasional services, and small audiences. A
few months after the adoption of the above resolution, it was also
agreed "that it be optional with the pastor to hold the German ser-
vice either in the church or Sunday school-room ;" a resolution
— 120 —
^vllicb was called for by the fact, that so few, sometimes not many
more than a dozen or two, attended the afternoon service, that it
was not very encom'aging to hold the service in the large church,
with hearers scattered here and there. From this time Dr. Baker
regularly preached English in the morning and evening, and met
the few Germans, whose attachment to the old church disinclined
them to go to Zion's congregation, in the afternoon, in the lecture-
The introduction of the pew- system rendered it desirable to in-
crease the number of pews, and it was thought that an entire reno-
vation of the interior of the church would secure this object, as well
as render it more comfortable and agreeable to a generation that
had become familiar with the modern style of church architecture.
The pews were uncomfortable, and although an attempt had been
made to improve those in the gallery, and to render them more de-
sirable as family-pews, it was unsuccessful. Some at this time al-
ready thinking that a thorough change could not easily be brought
about in the old church, spoke of building a new one, in some other
part of the city. All these considerations at last moved the vestry,
on November 8, 1851, to appoint a committee, "to make the ne-
cessary inquiry relative to the expediency of remodelling the
church." Messrs. J. W. Hubley, Horace Rathvon, and W. G. Ba-
ker, constituted this committee. At the next monthly meeting, this
committee reported "that it is inexpedient, inasmuch as very little
advantage can be gained unless at a heavy expense." The report
was adopted, and the committee discharged.
About this time, a number of the young members of the church, at
a social gathering, conversed on the propriety of opening a Mission
School in some part of the North-western ward of the city ; and
agreed to make the attempt, provided they could secure the approba-
tion of the vestry. On the 2d of March, 1852, the latter body re-
solved : "that the members of the Sunday-school Society have per-
mission to establish a Sunday-school in the north-western part of
the city, to be styled "a Lutheran Sunday-School." The society
soon after secured, through the kindness of the Board of Directors
of the Common Schools, the use of the building now occupied by
the Male Secondary School in Mulberry street, above Orange, for
the purpose of holding the new Sunday-school. The Rev. J. C.
Crumbaugh, at that time Principal of the Male High School, con-
sented to act as Superintendent of the new school, and it was soon
afterwards opened, with twenty-two scholars. The school continued
— 121 —
to prosper, and out of it, subsequently, grew St. John's Ev. Luth.
church, located in the immediate vicinity of the place, where the
Sunday-school was first opened.
At the meeting of the vestry, April 1852, a motion was made
"that hereafter unmarried men be admitted as candidates for the
office of warden ;" but a majority of the vestry refused to adopt it.
It appears to have been customary to select none but married men,
and we have been assured that competent and faithful members,
who belonged to the class of "bachelors," repeatedly murmured at
a custom, not based upon any requirement of the constitution, by
which they were excluded from serving the congregation, in an offi-
cial capacity. This disqualification was subsequently removed, and
for the past seven or eight years, several unmarried brethren have
discharged the duties of a deacon, to the satisfaction of the church.
In the spring of 1852 the Synod of Pennsylvania again met in
Trinity church, and was received in the usual hospitable manner.
About the same time the Ladies of the congregation also presented
the handsome silver communion service, which is used at present,
and received from the vestry a vote of thanks.
At a meeting of the vestry, on the 4th of October, of the same
year, it was, on motion of Mr. C. Hager, resolved : "that any effort
on the part of any of the members of this congregation, to build a
new Lutheran church in this city, meets with the approbation of
this vestry." Although the vestry passed this resolution, and many
members were favorable to the erection of such a church, others
were opposed to it, for various reasons. Dr. Baker, although he
also had some objections and difficulties, nevertheless felt it his duty
to advocate the new enterprise, because he believed that the church
should be extended. The matter, however, gave rise to some unpleas-
ant circumstances and misapprehensions, and Dr. Baker came to the
conclusion that he would retire from the post he had occupied so
long and faithfully. With characteristic candor and impetuosity
he announced this determination to his people, on communion day,
and intimated that it would be the last occasion of the kind. That
he had fully made up his mind, will also appear from the following
communication to the vestry :
Lancaster, November 1, 1852.
To the Vestry of the Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of the
Holy Trinity in the City of Lancaster.
Gentlemen : — From the character of the announcement made from
the pulpit yesterday, you have doubtless been led to anticipate the
object of this communication. Recent developements, with the na-
ture of which many of you are familiar, render it incumbent on me
to tender an unconditional resignation of the office of pastor of the
congregation, to take effect as soon as a successor shall be appointed.
In thus dissolving the connection that has existed between us lor a
period of nearly twenty-five years, permit me to express my grati-
tude for the many manifestations of kindness which I have received
at the hands of those to whose spiritual necessities I have so long
Commending you and those you represent to God and the word
of his grace.
I am, gentlemen, your brother in Christ,
JOHN C. BAKER.
However much the resignation of the pastor was to be regretted,
he had evidently come to a fixed determination, and the vestry felt
constrained to accept it.
The trustees of the congregation were appointed to wait on Dr.
Baker, to inform him of the acceptance of his resignation ; but at
another meeting, on Nov. 7, 1852, they reported, that they had not
yet performed the duty assigned to them, but had prepared the
following letter, which was read, and approved by the vestry.
"To the Rev. Dr. John C. Baker.
Mevererid Sir — We, the undersigned Committee, being ap-
pointed by the vestry of our congregation to inform you that they
have received your communication of the 1st inst., announcing to
them your unconditional resignation as pastor of our church, are
instructed to say to you, that they very much regret that we are to
be deprived of your services as our spiritual guide, and, in accordance
with the tenor of your letter, are extremely sorry that they are
compelled to accept your resignation.
The vestry would be pleased if you could make it convenient to
continue the performance of your services to the congregation, un-
til the first of February next.
The Committee, on their own behalf, are sorry to be the medium
of making this communication to you, who have served us so faith-
fully and well, for such a length of time, in harmony and love.
With our best wishes for your future health and happiness, which
"we pray the Lord may prolong, we remain, your friends,
GEO. H. KRUG,
It was also resolved that Messrs. Geo. Musser. Dr. F. A. Muh-
lenberg and C. Hager be a committee to correspond with the Presi-
dent of the Ministerium of Pennsylvania on the subject of the min-
'istry of this congregation.
— 123 —
At a meeting of the vestry, December 6, 1852, the committee
presented a letter from Dr. J. W. Richards, of Reading, at that
time President of the Synod, naming several clergymen, who, in
his opinion, would suit the congregation. The letter closed with
the following N, B. "It will scarcely be necessary for me to sug-
gest to you, in these days of instability in the christian world, to
be careful in selecting a man who will adhere to the Augsburg Con-
fession, in its doctrines and usages, as your charter requires ; it is
the most certain method of retaining the blessing promised in God's
holy word to his church." It may not be amiss to add here, that
Dr. Richards did not mention the name of the pastor who actually
became Dr. Baker's successor.
Dr. Baker labored on faithfully, and every day of his closing
pastorate at Lancaster served to convince him more and more, that
he had a strong hold upon the affections of the people, and that it
was the most difficult and painful thing for him to leave a place,
where he enjoyed the confidence and esteem of the whole comtnunity.
But the die was cast, and he moved steadily towards the goal»
On the 30th of January 1853, he preached his Farewell sermon,
in the presence of an immense audience, and on the following Tues-
day evening once more celebrated the Lord's Supper, in the upper
room of the Sunday-school building, with fifty-one communicants.
With this he closed his twenty-five years of pastoral labor in Lan-
He removed to Philadelphia, and took charge of St. Luke's Evang.
Luth. Church, in the northern part of the city. It seemed particu-
larly gratifying to him that he should spend the remainder of his
ministerial life in building up a new congregation in the city of his
birth. To this service he devoted himself with youthful zeal, la-
boring with great faithfulness, without any compensation, and even
contributing from his private resources to the support of the church.
Amidst many trials and discouragements he labored on until the
Master bade him enter into the rest that remaineth to the people of
He left behind him, at Lancaster, three sons and one daughter.
One of these sons, Dr. Chas. L. Baker, a young, skilful and beloved
physician, died very suddenly, April 21, 1859, and this sudden
affliction fell like a crushing weight, upon the father, who was thus
brought back to the scene of many joys and sorrows, to follow to
the grave the remains of a beloved child. On Easter Sunday af-
ternoon, an immense concourse carried the son to his grave in Wood-
— 124 —
■vrard Hill Cemetery, and gazed with sympathizing and tearful eyes
upon the familiar form and face of the aged pastor, citizen and
During his short stay in Lancaster he saw many of his old friends,
and felt more than ever assured that all, without exception, enter-
tained the most kindly feelings towards him. He was induced to sit
for a photograph, and an excellent picture was secured. He ap-
peared to enjoy his usual health ; but disease was already at work,
and he received some medical attention before leaving town. He
returned to Philadelphia on the following Wednesday, April 27,
pleased with the many assurances of continued friendship and love,
and expressing the hope, that he Avould soon return, and preach in
But God's "thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are our ways
his ways, saith the Lord." On the 12th of May we already heard
that he was seriously ill, and his children at once proceeded to Phi-
ladelphia. He had preached his last sermon, May 8th. He was
unwell at the time, and after the services was with difficulty taken
home. He was soon seized with alarming symptoms of Typhoid
fever. From day to day we heard that he was drawing nearer to
the grave ; and at noon, May 26, 1859, he died. He looked upon
the approach of death with Christian faith and hope. "If it is
God's pleasure," he said, "to prolong my life, Twill endeavor by his
help to show forth his praise, not with my lips only, but in my walk
and conversation. If in his infinite wisdom, he shall see fit to call
me home, my prayer is that He may receive me unto himself in
heaven — not that I have any merit or claim to it, but for Jesus
Christ, my Saviour's sake."
On Monday morning. May 30, religious services were held in St.
Luke's church, of which he had been the Pastor for the last six years.
"The house was filled with a sorrowing assembly, some of whom were
the children of his early ministry, who had come from all the region
round. The exercises were conducted by Revds. B. Keller, H. N.
Pohlman, D. D. and E. W. Hutter. The body was uncovered in
front of the pulpit, and all present had an opportunity of taking a
last look at their departed friend. The remains were then conveyed
to the city of Lancaster. A committee of the vestry of St. Luke's
accompanied, and one of Trinity church, Lancaster, received the re-
mains, and conveyed them to the residence of Mr. J. F. Long, son-
in-law of the deceased. At an early hour crowds surrounded the
house and church. At 4 o'clock the procession proceeded from the
— 125 —
house to Trinity church, where the body was placed in front of the
altar. All the clergymen of Lancaster were present, and the large
edifice was crowded in every part, while hundreds pressed around the
open doors and windows. After a short mournful prelude on the
organ, Rev. W. Beates, Senior of the Ministerium of Pennsylvania,
delivered a brief, and touching address, in the German language.
The pastor of the congregation followed with an address, in the Eng-
lish language ; and Rev. D. Steck, of St. John's Ev. Luth. church,
Lancaster, closed with prayer. The whole audience then, in ex-
cellent order passed the cofiin, which had been opened, and gazed
for the last time on that familiar face. It was indeed a most im-
pressive and touching scene !
The body was then taken to Woodward Hill, and laid near
the remains of the Son who had been buried shortly before ; and
now a beautiful monument, erected by his affectionate children,
marks the spot.
On the following Sunday, June 5, 1859, the pastor of Trinity
church, according to previous announcement, preached a funeral
sermon, from the words, John 1 : 47. "Behold an Israelite indeed,
in whom there is no guile !" The church was again crowded, and
many retired, without being able to secure seats.
Thousands are still living, who knew Dr. Baker, and are familiar
with the prominent traits of his character. He was an earnest, en-
thusiastic, and indefatigable worker. He could say that "I must
work while it is day ; the night cometh, when no man can work !"
was his motto, always remembered and acted upon. He was un-
wearied in preaching and visiting, in his attentions to the old and
young, rich and poor, healthy and sick. He was faithful in his la-
bors in the Sunday-school, which had been established during his
He was familiar with the best German and English writers in
Theology, and received from Lafayette College, the Doctorate of
Divinity, in 1837. His sermon on the death of Rev. Dr. Fred. D»
Schaeffer, was the only one he ever furnished for publication.
He was a devoted and influential member of the mother Synod
of Pennsylvania, and for many years filled the responsible office of
Treasurer. He also served as President of that body. He took a
most active part in its Missionary operations ; and for years pre-
pared the annual report. He will always be held in affectionate
remembrance by the members of that body.
— 126 —
For a number of years he devoted much attention to the Common
Schools of Lancaster, and was one of the most efficient and devoted
members of the Board, and a most regular and welcome visitor in
all the Schools.
In short, he was a good man — an "Israelite indeed !" He was a
faithful pastor, husband, father, and friend, and he too "shall be in
We have said as much as our space will permit, and refer
all who desire a full review of his life and character, to Prof. M. L.
Stoever's excellent article, in the October No. of the Evangelical Re-
view, of 1859.
A. D. 1853—1861.
On the 7th of March, 1853, "Rev. G. F. Krotel of Lebanon, was
nominated as a candidate for Pastor of the congresation. No other
nomination being made, the vestry, on motion, proceeded to an
election, which resulted in the unanimous choice of the person al-
ready named." The action of the vestry having been subsequently
ratified by the congregation, a regular call was prepared, forwarded
by a committee, and, in due time accepted ; and the new pastor
preached his introductory sermon, on Trinity Sunday, May 22,
After Dr. Baker's resignation the friends of a new church again
agitated the subject, and before the arrival of the new pastor, re-
solved to organize a new congregation. The Rev. Mr. Crumbaugh,
who had read Theology Avith the Rev, Dr. J. C. Baker, and who had
become well-known as a member of the congregation, and Superin-
tendent of the Branch Sunday-school, was selected as pastor of the
new church, and was licensed at the meeting of the Synod of Penn-
sylvania, at Reading, in 1853.
On the Sunday after the meeting of Synod, April 10, 1853, the
pastor elect of Trinity church visited Lancaster, and preached in
the morning and evening ; and on the same day the Rev. Mr. Crum-
baugh began the new enterprise, by also preaching in the morning
and evening, so that the two pastors actually started at the same
March 21, 1853 the Trustees wore authorized to sell the old stone
parsonage, in North Duko street, provided the congregation should
— 127 —
make no objections. It was subsequently sold for $4710. It was
resolved to remove a part of the old stone school-house, between
the new Sunday-school building and the sexton's h'ouse, for the
purpose of securing a site for the erection of a new parsonage ; and
on the 18th of April the Messrs. Hensel received the contract for
building it, for the sum of $2250, which was afterwards raised, be-
cause it was resolved to make the new house three stories high.
On the 16th of May, the vestry also resolved to put another story on
the sexton's house, and also to furnish it with a slate roof.
At the meeting of the Synod of Pennsylvania, in the spring of
1853, it was resolved that that venerable body should resume its
connection with the General Synod, and the pastor elect and the
lay-delegate of the Lancaster congregation voted for the measure.
The latter. Dr. F. A. Muhlenberg, soon after attended the meeting
of the General Synod, at Winchester, as one of the delegation from
the Pennsylvania Synod.
The branch Sunday-school was still connected with the old con-
gregation ; some of the members of the latter taught in it, and some
of the teachers of the Sunday-school of the old congregation, had
connected themselves with the new St. John's church, and the teach-
ers, of both schools, were still in the habit of meeting at the monthly
concert. It was, however, soon found desirable to effect a separa-
tion, and at the monthly concert, June 6, 1853, it was resolved,
that henceforth the branch-school, together with all the books, &c.,
should be transferred to St. John's Lutheran church, and very soon
afterwards the teachers in the respective schools were such as were
members of the church with which each school was connected.
Although the new congregation had been in existence for some
time, it was not as yet distinctly known how many members, whose
names still appeared in the old church book, would connect them-
selves with the new organization. The pastor of the old church,
therefore, on the 14th of June 1853, at a special meeting of the
vestry, presented the following, which was unanimously adopted :
"Whereas, many members of this congregation have never been
called upon to sign our Church Rules, as required by them, and
might thus be prevented from exercising the rights of full member-
ship ; and whereas — a new Ev. Lutheran Church, named "St. John's
Church," has lately been organized in this city, and members, whose
names have been signed to our Rules, have connected, or may con-
nect themselves with the new church, and cannot therefore longer
be regarded as members of the Church of the Holy Trinity, thei'e-
— 128 —
Resolved, That an Englisli copy of the Fundamental Rules be
placed in the Church-Book.
Resolved, That the Pastor, Trustees, Elders, Wardens, and all
the members, or those wishing to become such, be called upon, and
required to sign these rules, and thus signify their adherence to
the Church of the Holy Trinity.
Resolved, That it shall be the duty of the pastor, after every confir-
mation, to request each Confirmant to sign his or her name to these
rules, and to require the same of every member of any other church,
who presents his or her certificate, and desires to be a full member
of our Holy Trinity Church.
Resolved, That this preamble and these resolutions be inserted
in the Church-Book, immediately before the fundamental rules.
It was also resolved, that the vestry should sit in the church du-
ring the forenoons of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, to receive
such signatures ; that the pastor should give public notice to that
efiect from the pulpit, that committees should afterwards call upon
all the members who did not come forward during those days ; and
that a new book should be purchased for the above purpose. All
this was attended to, and on the Ist of July the new book had re-
ceived 487 signatures, and not from 1000 — 1200 as man};- of the
members had expected, for the number of Lutheran church mem-
bers was really not as large as had been generally supposed. Sub-
sequently more names were added ; and some persons were doubt-
less entirely overlooked at first.
The idea of modernizing the church, entertained by a number of
members for some time, received a new impulse at this time ; and
whilst the vestry sat, to receive signatures, on the 21st of June, the
subject was freely and fully discussed.
On the 5th of July the matter again came up, and Mr. W. E.
Heinitsh moved, "that a special committee of five members be ap-
pointed to take the subject into consideration, and report at the
next meeting a plan or plans, and the probable cost of the same,
which, being agreed to, tlie President appointed Messrs. Geo. Mus-
8er, Geo. H. Krug, Dr. F. A. Muhlenberg, John Bear, and Geo.
D. Sprecher said Committee.
July 25. "On motion of Mr. C. Hager, the following Committee
was appointed to take into consideration the propriety of altering
or extending the lecture room, and report at the next meeting, viz :
Messrs. C. Hager, F. W. Beates, and Chas. A. Heinitsh.
On the first of August, the "Committee on remodelling the
church," presented the following report t
— 129 —
"In accordance with the request of the Vestry, they having ma-
turely considered the matters entrusted to them, the committee
would recommend the altering and repairing of the interior of the
church, for the purpose of making it more convenient, comfortable
and capacious. The committee are satisfied, that it is not in the
power of the vestry, to accommodate the members, and others who
would wish to become members, with pews and seats, on the present
plan of the interior of our church.
Should the Vestry approve of the above suggestions of the Com-
mittee, and duly authorize them, agreeably to the church Rules,
they would employ some competent person to make a draft or plan
of the proposed alterations, specifying the probable expense of al-
tering the same.
They would further recommend, that when the church is about
being painted, the steeple be painted at the same time.
And further, that committees be appointed to collect sufficient
funds from the members of the congregation, before the above pro-
ject be carried into execution.
GEO. H. KRUG,
F. A. MUHLENBERG,
GEO. D. SPRECHER.
The Committee appointed to report on enlarging the Lecture-
room, reported through Mr. F. W. Beates, "that an addition equal
in size to the present building could be made for about $2000, by
extending to the eastward ; also, that a building large enough could
be erected on the corner of the alley near the church, for a sum
equal to that which might be obtained for the present one."
The Report of the first committee was unanimously adopted ; and
that of the second received, and the committee continued.
It was then resolved "that the adoption of the report be made
known to the congregation from the pulpit, on Sunday next, and
that the vestry will sit, in the church, on Wednesday afternoon fol-
lowing, from 2 o'clock until 5, to receive the protests of any mem-
bers who may be dissatisfied with this action."
The pastor gave the required notice, and the vestry met, on the
following Wednesday. No one, however, appearing to protest, it
was resolved, "that the committee appointed at a previous meeting
to report a plan, &c., be authorized to employ an architect, procure
a plan, and an estimate of the cost, and report the same at the next
meeting of the vestry."
The committee on the Sunday-school building proceeded to the
work assigned them, and removed the partition walls separating the
— 130 —
former lecture-room and infant school-room, and in this way provi-
ded the present lecture-room, which has much more space than for-
merly, and must answer the purpose until the congregation shall
feel able to erect a larger and more suitable building for the Sun-
day-school and all meetings during the week.
On the 18th of August, "the committee having the improvement
of the church in hand, presented the plan and estimate made by
Mr. John Sehner, proposing to extend the church at the southern
end, with galleries on the east, west and south, a recess at the north-
ern end, for the pulpit, at a cost of $5266."
At the same meeting Mr. Sehner was appointed to superintend
the work, and he and the pastor were appointed a committee to visit
Reading and Philadelphia, for the purpose of examining the im-
provements in the Lutheran churches there.
It was also resolved that committees be appointed to raise the
funds necessary to carry on this work, and, that they should be se-
lected from the congregation as well as the vestry, and their names
published from the pulpit. The pastor was also requested to preach
a sermon on the subject of improving the House of worship, on the
following Sunday eve. The sermon was preached ; the committees
appointed ; and the superintendent and pastor visited Trinity church,
Reading, and St. John's and St. Mark's Lutheran churches in Phi-
ladelphia, making such measurements and notes as appeared desi-
On the 29th of August the vestry appointed a building commit-
tee, which, after a few changes, was composed of the following mem-
bers, Geo. Musser, Sr., John F. Long, Geo. D. Sprecher, F. W.
Beates, and the pastor, the latter acting as chairman. It was also
resolved to appoint a special treasurer "for the improvement fund,"
and Mr. W. G. Baker was selected for that office.
On the 5th September ground was broken preparatory to the
erection of the two additions at the south, and the old brick wall
that formerly enclosed the church, was taken down, so that the ma-
terials might be used in the extension. On the evening of the same
day the collecting committees reported subscriptions to the amount
The plan adopted by the vestry, that the Building Committee
should employ all the workmen and artists, and that Mr. Sehner
should superintend the work under their direction, was successfully
adhered to until the completion of the work. All the particulars
of tlie improvement were left to the discretion of the committee, al-
— 131 —
though the vestry was frequently convened and consulted in regard
to matters of greater importance and difficulty.
On Sunday evening, September 18th, the last service in the old
church took place, and the pastor addressed a large audience, on
the words Gen. 28 : 16-19.
On the following morning the workmen began to remove the wood-
work of the interior, and many watched, with tearful eyes, the grad-
ual disappearance of the old familiar pews in which they had sat so
many years, the altar around which they knelt, and the pulpit from
which Gerock, Helmuth, Muhlenberg, Endress, Baker, WhitjBeld,
and so many sainted fathers of our own church had proclaimed the
everlasting gospel. The Committee were anxious to save the old
pulpit, and use it in the lecture-room, but it was impossible. The
old altar, however, was subsequently used, and covered with velvet,
now occupies its appropriate place in the renovated church.
Several congregations very kindly offered the use of their lecture-
rooms and churches during the progress of the repairs. By invita-
tion of Rev. Mr. Keyes, then pastor of St. Paul's German Reformed
church, the pastor of Trinity church occupied his pulpit during his
absence, until the 23d of October, the people of the two congrega-
tions worshipping together.
On the afternoon of the 9th of October the interestino; services
connected with the corner-stone laying of St. John's Evangelical
Lutheran Church took place. Rev. B. Kurtz, D. D., delivered an
address in the First Presbyterian church, and then the people pro-
ceeded to West Orange street, where the corner-stone was laid, ac-
cording to the form of the Liturgy of the General Synod, by the
pastor of Trinity Church.
September 29th, the vestry unanimously passed the following re-
solution : "that this A^estry have entire confidence in the Committee
appointed to superintend the repairs of the church, and that they
have full power to use such materials and make such alterations, as
in their opinion will best accomplish the work entrusted to their
October 3d, the vestry resolved "that the seats and backs of the
pews be cushioned and lined uniformly," and at a subsequent meet-
ing the Committee was instructed to procure the salmon-colored ma-
terial now used.
On the 29th of September'the Trustees of the First Presbyterian
church had kindly offered us the use of their church on Sunday af-
ternoons, and of their lecture-room for week-day services ; but af-
— 132 —
terwards the pastor of that church, Rev, Mr. Baldwin, and the pas-
tor of the Lutheran congregation agreed that it would be best for
the two congregations to worship together, each pastor preaching
once on the Lord's day. This arrangement met with the approba-
tion of the officers and members of both churches, and they "dwelt
together in unity" until the completion of the repairs in May 1854.
In the beginning of November, 1853, the pastor's family removed
to the new parsonage, which the congregation very generously sup-
plied with some necessary and beautiful articles of furniture.
On the 25th of November the chairman of the Building Commit-
tee reported, that they had written to Mr. H. Knauff, organ-builder
of Philadelphia, to come and examine the organ. Upon examina-
tion he pronounced it so completely worn out, that all repairs would
be thrown away. To rebuild it, using the old case, would cost
$1,500, and an entirely new organ of the same size $2,000. It was
resolved to postpone the re-building of the organ, and that the com-
mittee of repairs should have it cleaned and tuned. At the Decem-
ber meeting, however, it was resolved, by 13 votes against 4, "that
the Building Committee be instructed to contract with Mr. Knauff,
for the re-building of the organ, and that the utmost of the appro-
priation for that purpose be $1,500." At another meeting the Pre-
sident stated, that two of the Building Committee had gone to see
Mr. Knauff, and some of the organs built by him ; and that he in-
formed them that an organ, with 26 stops, suitable for a church of
the size of ours, would cost $1,800, by taking the old one, as part
of the payment. He, however, finally agreed to furnish it for the
amount to which they were limited, viz. $1,500, provided he would
be permitted to use the old case, and such of the old pipes as might
answer, the congregation finding the boxes and paying freight to
and from Philadelphia, and that he would have it completed by the
8th of April 1854.
' December 22d, the liberal offer of a peal of eight bells, to be pre-
sented by a number of gentlemen, was accepted, and the two old
bells hanging in the steeple were also placed at their disposal.
On the 27th of February, 1854, the Building Committee, in com-
pliance with a resolution passed at a former meeting, reported to
the vestry, through their chairman, "that they estimated the total
cost of the improvement at $11,000, being about $0,000 over and
above the sum already secured for that purpose." At the same
meeting the committee was instructed to procure a suitable baptis-
— 133 —
On the morning of Sunday, March 5th 1854, the lecture-room
of St. John's Evang. Lutheran church was solemnly set apart for
public worship, and the pastor of the mother-church preached the
sermon on Isa. 54 : 2, 3.
March 13, "the building committee was instructed to have the
exterior of the church, and the brick work of the steeple painted
and pencilled, and also to make the necessary preparation for paint-
ing the wood-work of the steeple ;" but on the 27th of the same
month "the chairman expressed the hope that the vestry would ex-
cuse the building committee from attending to the painting and
other work on the outside of the church, as their labors were already
prolonged, and would probably take more of their time than they
could give." They were unanimously excused, and the regular
committee of Repairs directed to take this matter in hand.
At the meeting on the 13th of April 1854, the pastor "stated to
the vestry, that the inquiry had been repeatedly made, whether he
would wear the clerical gown, during the public services of the
Lord's day, (as it had been a former custom in this church) after
the re-opening of the church ; and as he was perfectly willing to do
in the matter as the vestry directed, he desired their action in
reference to it ; when — after some consideration of the subject, it
was resolved, that the pastor of this congregation be requested to
resume the wearing of a gown during service, as was formerly the
practice in this congregation."
On the first of May, the pew-committee reported, "that they re-
ceived about 100 applications for pews and 40 for seats, and that they
are of the opinion, that the contemplated plan of allotting them,
will not prove satisfactory to the members." It was then resolved
that the choice of family pews be sold in the church, the first choice
to the highest bidder, the second to the next, and so on until all
are disposed of.
At the same meeting it was also resolved, "to commence a sub-
scription immediately, to extinguish the debt of the church, the
sums subscribed to be paid in three instalments, the first on July 1,
1854, the second on July 1, 1855, and the third on July 1, 1856."
On May the 8th, the vestry directed the Building Committee to
cover the floor of the aisles and pews in the galleries with the same
kind of carpeting that was used on the lower floor of the church."
The work was now rapidly drawing near its completion, and appeared
to give general satisfaction, although the cost so greatly exceeded
the expectations and wishes of all. It was found necessary to make
— 134 —
changes where it was least expected, and as all desired the work to
be complete, and that the materials should be of the very best kind,
it was impossible to avoid a great outlay. When it is remembered
that all but the four walls of the building is new, the extent of the
work can be readily appreciated. The Avings at the south, the re-
cess at the north, the window frames, plastering, roof and wood-
work, are all new. It was necessary to excavate a cellar for the
furnace, and to lay new floors.
The wood-work was all put up under the direction of Mr. John
Sehner, the superintendent. Messrs. Druckemiller and Benedict
were the plasterers ; Mr. Robinson, of Philadelphia, built the mas-
sive and convenient staircases in the vestibule, and those connected
with the pulpit. Mr. Sloan, the well-known architect from Phila-
delphia, furnished the drawings of the pulpit, which was carved and
built by Mr. Bolton of the same city, and is universally acknowl-
edged to be a beautiful work. Mr, John Gibson," of the same city,
furnished the stained glass of the windows, and the walls and ceil-
ing were also painted by his artists. The painting of the woodwork
of the interior was done by Messrs. W. E. Heinitsh k Co. Some,
at one time, thought, that it would have been desirable to provide
a basement story for Sunday-school and other purposes, but we be-
lieve that all now congratulate themselves upon the possession of a
fine, lofty audience room, on the ground-floor, easy of access, and
through whose five large doors the largest congregation can readily
be dismissed in a few minutes.
On the evening of May 14, the Lutheran congregation for the
last time met with their Presbyterian brethren ; and the pastor of
the former, after preaching on the words of Paul, Ephes. 4 : 3, in
the name of his people presented a handsome copy of the Holy
Scriptures, for the pulpit of the Presbyterian church ; and thus end-
ed the friendly intercourse of many months, leaving behind a kind
and brotherly feeling, which has often manifested itself, and we trust
"will ever be maintained.
Sunday, May 21, 1854, was another great day in the history of
the congregation. Although it i-ained during the day, the church
was filled with a glad and festive throng. The new organ had not
been finished in time for the occasion, but a large choir, under the
leadership of Mr. J. G. Fetter, the organist, furnished appropriate
music. The church was again solemnly dedicated to the worhip of
the Triune God, according to the form prescribed by the liturgy,
by the pastor of the church ; and an admirable and appropriate
— 135 —
sermon on the first two verses of Psalm 84, was preached by the
Rev. P. F. Mayer, D. D., Pastor of St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church,
Philadelphia. In the evening the congregation was again edified by
an excellent discourse by Rev. C. W. SchaeS"er, D. D. of Grerman-
town, on John 2 : 17. As the vestry had recommended the intro-
duction of the gown. Dr. Mayer suggested that the day of re-dedi-
cation would be the most suitable for the purpose, and therefore all
the ofiiciating ministers wore it.
During the following week the new chime of bells and the
new organ were set up in their respective places, and were used
for the first time on Sunday, May 28, 1854, at which time the pas-
tor also confirmed his first class of catechumens, 41 in number.
The largest of the old bells was cast in England in 1769 for
Trinity Church, and is still hanging on the steeple ; the smaller of
the two formerly belonged to the ancient society of Baptists at
Ephrata, but was afterwards sold to this church. It is now sus-
pended in the belfry of the Washington Fire Company of this city."^
The committee on painting the steeple contracted with Messrs.
W. E. Heinitsh and E. Carter for $700, they finding all the materi-
als. $479 was subscribed by members of the congregation and
other citizens, to defray this expense.
On the 31st of July Messrs. Geo. H. Krug and C. Hager were
appointed a committee to put up a substantial iron railing in front
of the church, and the work was soon afterwards completed, at a
cost of $580.
On the 14th of August the Chairman presented the final report
of the Building Committee. The report was unanimously adopted,
and the committee discharged, with the thanks of the vestry.
It will be seen that much was done during this year, in the im-
provement of the property of the congregation. The church was
thoroughly renovated, from the cellar to the vane upon the steeple ;
a new parsonage was built; extensive repairs were made in the
school-house ; the sexton's house was raised one-story ; the organ
was re-built, and an iron railing placed in front of the church ; all
which was done at an expense of about $25,000.
In December of this year St. John's Ev. Lutheran church of this
city was dedicated. Rev. F. W. Conrad preached the dedication
sermon. Trinity church was closed on the morning of that day,
to give the people an opportunity to participate in the interesting
•Note — A further account of this bell may be found iii Rupp's Hist, Lane. Co., p. 223.
— 136 —
On the 27tli of March, 1855, the vestry received and accepted
the resignation of Mr. J. G. Fetter, the organist, and tendered him
their thanks "for the faithful manner in which he performed his du-
ties during a long period ; and also expressed their regrets at the
feeble state of his health." On the following day, Mr. Levi Smith
■was elected his successor, as organist, and was afterwards also ap-
pointed to chime the bells on Sunday morning at 9 o'clock, and in
the evenings of Tuesday and Friday of every week.
At a vestry meeting May 7, 1855, it was resolved "that the pas-
tor of this congregation be requested to extend to the General Synod
an invitation to hold its next session in Lancaster."
During this summer the German Lutheran congregation, under
the pastoral care of Rev. B. W. Schmauk, found it necessary to en-
large and renovate their church, and for some time occupied the
Sunday-school building of this church, for public worship, on the
During the same summer the lecture-room was granted to St.
Paul's Methodist church, for the meetings of their Sunday-school,
until their lecture-room should be completed.
The vestry at this time also granted an additional number of feet
of ground to the German Lutheran congregation, to enable them to
enlarge their School-house.
The propriety of opening a Branch or Mission Sunday School in
the northern part of the city, which promised to grow more rapidly
than any other, had been thought of by several who took an inter-
est in the Sunday-school and church. They thought, that as the
old congregation was large, and the population in the northern part
of the city was increasing, and was more remote from the church
than St. John's church, which had already been successfully started,
such a Sunday-school might in due time lead to the erection of the
fourth Lutheran church in Lancaster.
At a meeting of the Teachers of the Sunday-school, on Sunday
afternoon, February 11, 1855, the matter was presented by the Pre-
sident, and after some discussion the meeting unanimously ap-
pointed Messrs. J. W. Ilubley, Chas. A. Ileinitsh, and Reuben A.
Bacr, a committee to look for some building, in which such a Sun-
day-school could be opened. After diligent search they found two
small rooms in a small one-story house in James street, between
Duke and Prince, and after furnishing it with benches, &c., formerly
used in the old church, and after public notice in the "Inland Daily,"
— 137 —
the "James Street Branch School" was opened on the afternoon of
February 25, 1855. Thirty-three scholars and more than a suffi-
cient number of teachers were present, and Mr. J. W. Hubley acted
as Superintendent. On the following Sunday 46 pupils were pre-
sent, and from Sunday to Sunday the number increased, and the
room soon became too small and uncomfortable.
After some months the third story of the building at the northwest
corner of James and N. Queen was secured, and subsequently the
building at the southwest corner of Prince and Lemon, and the school
held there until the congregation erected the present building.
Rev. Chas. A. Baer, at present pastor of the Ev. Luth. Church at
Norristown, and at that time a theological student, for some time
had charge of the Branch School. On the 26th of October 1855,
his brother, Mr. Reuben A. Baer, was elected Superintendent, and
still holds the same office.
After the successful opening of the Branch School, all felt that
it would be desirable to provide a suitable building, as soon as possi-
ble ; and at a vestry meeting, September 10, 1855, on motion of
Mr. W. P. Brooks, "Messrs. Geo. Musser, Geo. H. Krug, C. Ea-
ger, and Dr. F. A. Muhlenberg, were appointed a committee to re-
port at the next meeting on the propriety of erecting or renting a
building for the Sunday-school commenced in the northern part of
In due time the vestry bought some ground, on the north side of
James street, between Duke and North Queen, and erected a neat
brick building, 46 feet by 30, which was so placed and constructed,
that it can easily be converted into two dwellings, whenever the
congregation desires to dispose of it. This enterprise again de-
manded an outlay of almost $2000, Messrs. J. W. Hubley, W.
Frick, Esq., and Wm. Buckius were the building Committee.
On Sunday afternoon, October 18, 1857, the scholars of the
Branch School went, in procession, to the new building, where they
arrived at two o'clock and were addressed by the pastor. At three
o'clock the children were dismissed, and the room was soon filled
by the members of the congregation. After a short address by
the pastor, those present contributed their freewill-offerings for the
benefit of the new school.
Some time afterwards the pastor gave notice that he would hold
service in the new School-house every Thursday evening, for the
special benefit of the members and other residents of that part of
the city. These services were continued for some time ; but were
— 138 —
afterwards suspended, on account of the inclemency of the season,
and the numerous services which occupied the pastor's time almost
every evening of the week. The duties of the Lord's day, in the
church, morning and evening, and in the Sunday school in the af-
ternoon, not to speak of special pastoral duties, prevented the hold-
ing of a Sunday afternoon service.
The James street Sunday-school continued to prosper, and has
now nearly 200 names on the roll, and frequently 140 or more pu-
pils in attendance ; together with a number of active teachers,
some of whom have been connected with the school from its estab-
On the 27th of May, 1855, a translation of the new liturgical
morning service, adopted by the Synod of Pennsylvania was intro-
duced, and used for some time ; but inasmuch as some of the mem-
bers were unfavorable to the responses, the vote of the congregation
was taken upon the subject, on October 21st, and although it ap-
peared that a considerable majority voted in favor of the new form,
it was determined to respect the feelings of the minority, and post-
pone the use of the new liturgy, until its introduction elsewhere,
should better prepare the way. Subsequent intercourse with the
members proved, that the number really and earnestly opposed to
it, was exceedingly small.
On the fourth of April 1856, the young members who had just
been confirmed, at the suggestion of the pastor, organized the "Ju-
nior Missionary Society," which is still in existence, and has been
the means of doing some good, not only abroad, but also in de-
veloping the activity of some of the young members in the church
In 1856 the Synod of Pennsylvania met in this congregation,
and by resolution of the vestry, the Synodical Sermon was preach-
ed in the German language.
It may be of interest to remark, in this connection, that German
preaching, in Trinity church, ceased with the departure of Dr. J. C.
Baker. When the new pastor was elected, some were anxious to
know wliether he could preach in German, hoping that there would
still be occasional service in that language. But upon his arrival,
with the approbation of the vestry, it was determined that there
should be no German afternoon preaching, as the nearness of an
exclusively German Lutheran congregation, faithfully served by
competent pastors, rendered German preaching in Trinity church
not only useless, but really detrimental to the best interests of both
— 139 —
congregations. This decision deservedly secured the approbation
of the whole congregation, not excluding even the few who had a
warm side for a German sermon.
On the fifth of May, 1856, the vestry adopted the new design of
the corporate seal of the congregation, representing an open Bible,
with the letters V D M I iE —the initials of Verbum Domini manet
in seternum, (the word of the Lord abideth forever) — inscribed upon it.
About this time the congregation also began to support two be-
neficiaries at the institutions in Gettysburg.
On the 12th of April the Treasury of the Repair Fund, was uni-
ted with the general treasury, and the officer who had charge of the
former, while it was deemed necessary to have a distinct treasury,
was relieved, with the unanimous thanks of the vestry.
On the 7th of February 1859, the Committee of Ways and Means
reported : "that, in their opinion, the only way to liquidate the
principal and interest of the church debt, (incurred by making the
extensive repairs) is to make another appeal to the liberality of the
members. Although the present may be regarded by some as
an unpropitious time for the commencement of another subscription,
the Committee feel that much has already been lost by delay, and
that the extrication of our church edifice from the debt that now
rests upon it, is a consummation so devoutly to be wished, as to call
for the exercise of a prompt and vigorous effort for its attainment.
Entertaining these views, the Committee recommend, that the
vestry authorize the President to call a meeting of the members of
the congregation, at such time as they may see proper to designate,
and that they there be informed of the condition of our financial affairs,
and solicit their co-operation in our efforts to extinguish the debt.
The congregation owes ^8,741. In order to provide for the pay-
ment of this debt, the Committee would propose, that subscriptions
be taken with the view of raising the whole amount ; that the mem-
bers so subscribing have the privilege of paying their whole subscrip-
tion at once, or in six semi-annual instalments, the first on July 1,
1859, and the remaining ones semi-annually thereafter, until July 1,
1861 ; the sum thus paid, to be put out at interest, until required,
to pay either the principal or interest of the debt."
W. G. Baker, Horace Rathvon, Geo. H. Krug — Committee.
The time for holdino; the cono;res:ational meetincr was fixed for
Monday, Feb. 14th, at 7, P. M., notice to be given from the pulpit.
At the appointed time a considerable number of members met
in the church. The exercises were opened with singing and prayer.
— 140 —
after which the Secretary, Mr. Chas. A. Heinitsh, read a statement
of the indebtedness of the church, and was followed by the pastor's
address. It was proposed to make an effort to raise $9,000, so as
to cover the interest also. Some believed it utterly impossible to
do anything of the kind, especially during such a time of pecuniary
difficulties. But, after all, the meeting resolved, "that we enter
into a subscription for the liquidation of the whole Church-debt, the
subscriptions to be binding, only in case the whole amount be sub-
scribed." The work of subscribing was then commenced by three
members putting down their names for $500 each, and went on
pleasantly and successfully until 9|, P. M., when it was found that
$5,243 had been subscribed. On motion the meeting adjourned un-
til Sunday morning, after the sermon. Although the weather was
unfavorable on Sunday morning, the attendance was good. After
the usual altar service, the pastor briefly addressed the people, on
the words in 2 Cor. 9 : 7, whereupon a statement of the success
of the meeting on Monday night was presented, and the mem-
bers were invited to go on with the good work. The amount
was raised to $6,784. After evening service the vestry appointed
Committees of four members from each ward, to wait upon every
member of the congregation to gather the names of those who had
subscribed, and also to solicit further subscriptions.
"On Wednesday evening, March 3, 1859, a large meeting of the
congregation was held, for the purpose of receiving the reports of
the Committees. After some remarks by the pastor, relative to the
origin of the debt, and the amounts previously subscribed and paid,
he stated the result of the present effort to be subscriptions to the
amount of $8,804, a sum exceeding the principal of the debt. —
Whereupon the following was unanimously adopted : Whereas, at a
former congregational meeting, held February 14th, it was resolv-
ed, that the subscriptions about to be opened should only be binding,
in case the whole amount of the debt be raised, and whereas, from
the report of the Committee, it appears, that this sum has already
been subscribed, therefore Resolved, that the congregation hereby
declares the subscriptions binding." After some congratulatory re-
marks b}^ the pastor, prayer, singing, and the Benediction, all re-
tired, highly doliglitcd with the success of this effort.
At a meeting of the vestry, July 11, 1859, the President stated,
that frequent inquiries were made whether we intended to change
our Hymn-Book, (published by the New- York Synod) inasmuch as
our Synod is now connected with the General Synod. But owing
— 141 —
to the fact that there were several hymn-books in the market, and
another was about to be published, and it was not known whether
it would be endorsed by the General Synod, or whether that body
might not be induced to make some changes in their present book,
he suggested the propriety of the continued use of our present New-
York collection, at least until after the next meeting of the General
Synod, which is to be held at Lancaster, in May 1861. This was
unanimously agreed to.
On the 5th of September 1859, the Treasurer reported that the
amount received, of the first instalment, including $900 in bonds,
was $3,369.75, so that the congregation began to see the decrease
of the debt, although some, who had subscribed, failed to do their
November 7, 1859, it was resolved, "that the collections at the
Wednesday evening lectures, during the winter, be appropriated to
the relief of the poor of our congregation, under the Supervision of
the Ladies' Dorcas Society."
March 5, 1860. "Resolved, that the Committee of Repairs ex-
amine the parsonage, and have such painting, repairing, and altera-
tions or improvements effected, as, in their opinion, upon consulta-
tion with the pastor, may be necessary and desirable."
On the 9th of May 1860, the vestry purchased an iron safe, for
the safe keeping of the ancient and very valuable Records of the
Church, and the communion service.
At a vestry meeting, November 5, 1860, a communication was
received from the pastor, transmitting copies of the morning service
of the new liturgy, recently translated, and ordered to be printed
by the Synod of Pennsylvania, and requesting such action relative
to its introduction and use in our congregation, as the vestry might
As the pastor himself soon afterwards entered the room, he was
requested to explain the history of the new liturgy, and how much of
the pamphlet was to be used in the morning service* He wished them
to consider the matter fully, and therefore further action was post-
poned until November 13, when it was unanimously resolved : "that
the liturgy emanating from the Synod of Pennsylvania and adjacent
States, and recommended by our pastor, for the use of our congre-
gation, be adopted for the present upon trial, and that $15 be ap-
propriated out of the general treasury, for the purchase of 500 co-
pies of the morning service, for the use of the members."
On Sunday, November 18, the pastor published this resolution
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of the vestry, and also, that the new liturgy would be used, for the
first time, at the beginning of the Church-Year, the first Sunday of
Advent. He also invited the congregation to the lecture room, on
the following Wednesday evening, where, in the presence of a very
large audience, he explained the new order of service, and went
over it with those who were present.
On December 2, 1860, the first Sunday in Advent, the new li-
turgy was used for the first time ; and it was discovered that the
service did not require more time than that formerly in use. On
the first Sunday in Advent 1861, the new liturgy had been used for
a year, and the responses have been made with considerable success
and satisfaction. Neither the pastor nor the vestry have been re-
quested to put an end to the trial, and the attendance during the
morning service does not appear to have been injuriously affected
by its continued use.
On the 10th of Nov. 1860, Mr. Levi Smith, organist, died, and on
the 22d of January Mr. Anthony Schmied was elected as organist.
March 4, 1861, the Committee of Repairs reported that the large
tenor Bell, used for service, was cracked and unfit for use, and that
they had endeavored to remedy the defect, but without success. At
a subsequent meeting it was resolved to have it re-cast, as soon as
sufficient funds could be raised for that purpose. The committee
appointed to attend to this, reported that they feared the amount
could not be raised. On the 28th of March 1861, a letter and cir-
cular from Naylor and Co., Phildelphia, relative to the cost and
quality of their Cast Steel Bells, was read to the vestry, and a com-
mittee was appointed to make further inquiries about cast steel bells
and chimes. Messrs. Chas. A. Heinitsh, Michael Fisher and Horace
Rathvon were the committee.
The committee of Repairs, by order of the vestry, removed the large
bell, and suspended the second bell of the chime in its place, until
further action could be taken in regard to the subject of the chime.
On the sixth of May, the Bell Committee reported, "that two of
the committee, Messrs. Heinitsh and Rathvon, accompanied by the
pastor, visited the establishment of Naylor and Co. in Philadelphia,
examined a number of Cast Steel Bells of various sizes, and were well
pleased with their tone. They were informed that the house has now,
in New-York, a chime of eight bells, in key of F. weighing 7705 lbs."
The committee subsequently, by resolution of the vestry, entered
into an agreement with Messrs. Naylor and Co., by which they ex-
changed the old bells for the new cast steel chime, made at Shef-
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field, England. On the 24tli of May they arrived at Lancaster, and
during the next two days the old bells were taken down, and the new
ones elevated to their places, with remarkable expedition and safety,
and they were ready for use at the great Centenary Jubilee.
On the 3d of June, Mr. John B. Kevinski was elected to chime
the new bells, at the times formerly agreed upon.
The vestry was led to make this exchange of bells, principally be-
cause they could thus avoid the heavy outlay involved in the re-
casting of the large tenor bell. We believe that the congregation
and the citizens generally have been very agreeably disappointed by
the tone of the new chime, and that it is growing in public favor
the oftener it is rung.
The successive instalments of the subscriptions for the payment
of the church debt were regularly called in, and had it not been for
the unprecedented pecuniary difficulties of the time, rendered still
worse by the breaking out of the Great Rebellion in 1861, almost the
entire amount could have been collected, and one more vigorous,
final effort would have wiped out the remainder. We trust, however,
that a speedy restoration of union, peace and prosperity, will ena-
ble the congregation fully to accomplish this desirable work.
On the 20th of November, the pastor of the congregation, who
had been elected pastor of St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church
Philadelphia, made vacant by the resignation of Rev. Dr. C. P.
Krauth, Jr., who had been elected General Editor of "The Lutheran
and Missionary," presented his resignation as pastor of Trinity
church. He believed that he was moved to take this painful step,
and to accept the call from St. Mark's, from a sense of duty ; and
the vestry, acting in the name of the congregation, accepted his re-
signation, with expressions of regret and kindness utterly undeserved
by him. With their consent, his labors were to terminate with the
close of the year 1861 ; and they wisely took immediate steps, accord-
ing to the provisions of their constitution, to secure a suitable successor.
The collector of these historical particulars little thought, when
he proposed to describe the century, from 1761 to 1861, that his
pastoral labors would close the century. During this century this
venerable church has been served by Revds. Gerock, Helmuth, Muh-
lenberg, Endress, Baker, and the writer of this ; six pastors in a century.
One of these served 35 years, another 25, another 12, another 10,
the first 7 years of the century were occupied by Mr. Gerock, and
the last 8 J by the writer. Mr. Gerock removed to take charge of a
congregation in New- York city ; Revds. Helmuth, Baker, and the
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writer were called to Philadelphia, and Drs. Muhlenberg and En dress
rest in the grave-yard of the church. Each of these pastorates wit-
nessed some memorable event in the history of this church. During
the ministry of Kev, Gerock, a native of Wurtemberg, Trinity
Church was built and dedicated ; Dr. Helmuth accomplished great
things in the discipline, and spiritual purification of the congrega-
tion ; in Dr. Muhlenberg's time the great work of the steeple was
accomplished ; Dr. Endress passed through the ordeal of the intro-
duction of the English language ; Dr. Baker introduced the Sunday
School ; and the last pastor of the century, a countryman of the
one that opened it, witnessed the renovation and re-dedication of
the venerable edifice ; the successful establishment of the St. John's
Lutheran church, and that of the Branch School, which will perhaps
result, in due time, in the fourth Lutheran church of Lancaster.
The writer and reader of these historical particulars, cannot fail
to perceive, that the congregation has, for one hundred and thirty
years, consistently pursued the same path, and maintained the same
principles. As the pastor who closes the century, looks back upon
the principles cherished by his predecessors, and the doctrines and
usages of the church, he feels the gratifying assurance, that he has
attempted no novelties, but simply endeavored to maintain the old,
historical, Lutheran position of the congregation. He has consci-
entiously endeavored to cherish the faith which dictated, the terms
of the calls presented to ministers for over a hundred years ; and ear-
nestly hopes and prays that the congregation, so old and influential,
so faithful and affectionate to its pastors, and whose undeserved kind-
ness and love can never be forgotten by him, will ever "earnestly
contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints," and
"continue in the things which they have learned and have been as-
sured of, knowing of whom they have learned them."
And may the Great Head of the Church grant unto them a man
after his own heart, who will open the new Century of the History
of the Congregation more worthily, than the writer was able to close
May the next pastor experience the same faithful love, and may
God's richest blessings rest upon him, and every member of the